São Paulo S/S 2012: Fashion and Design Week
With São Paulo fashion week celebrating its 15th anniversary with a whole host of stellar catwalk shows, parties and exhibitions that took place from 13-18 June - not to mention the much-feted addition of Brazil's first-ever design week to the seasonal calendar - it's hard to imagine that this now globally-acclaimed cultural week has had just over a mere decade to grow.
The biggest fashion week outside of Europe and America and one aimed at the domestic market, it came as no surprise that the collections were mostly retail-focused, pulling together a range of noticeable key trends for Spring. There was a great play on things like sheer billowy fabrics from
" target="_blank" > Reinaldo Lourenço and Alexandre Herchcovitch, coloured leather from Gloria Coelho, Triton's geometrical shapes that looked back to the country's rich architectural history, and Cavalera's bright festival-style tribal tropical prints.
SPFW itself, of course, needs little introduction. Created in 1996 by industry bigwig Paulo Borges and now a multi-million dollar operation produced by his company Luminosidade, its bi-annual residence in the São Paulo Biennial Foundation building (otherwise known as Oscar Niemeyer's Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo) in Ibirapuera Park feeds the industry's some 100,000 guests with a substantial fashion manna of about 50 shows each season.
Across the road from the official fashion week pavilion though, was the bubbling anticipation of a new emerging movement. Brazil's first-ever foundling design week - launched in the Oca exhibition pavillion (yet another classic Niemeyer structure set within Ibirapuera Park) - was particularly piquing interest. The city itself doesn't have a dedicated design gallery, making this the first official collective flex of São Paulo's creative design muscle.
Running from 14-18 June, Design São Paulo has been pegged as an annual event that will bring together a tightly-edited selection of Brazilian design.
Founders Waldick Jatobá - a former banker and avid design art collector - Katia Avillez and Lydia Goldstein had been biding their time for four years, waiting for a ripe moment to introduce a substantial design fair to Brazil. The aim of the inaugural 'salon' (as Jatobá prefers to call it) is that it appeals not only to design industry aficionados, but also works to educate the Brazilian public.
The resulting edit, with its mix of vintage mid-century modern pieces and new contemporary design pieces, looks to strike a balance. Curator Maria Helena Estrada explains, 'The pieces here reflect a reality. There is a balance between old tradition and new pieces that move forward'.
Partnered with Paulo Borges and Luminosidade, the five-day event supplemented a showcase of 20 handpicked galleries and an exhibition on the Campana brothers (also this year's Designers of the Year) with a strong program of lectures, conferences, round-tables and workshops.
'Through the salon you can see that the thoughts, the ideas, the new big things are about to start for Brazil' says Jatobá, 'And this is good for designers, collectors and for enthusiasts to see that this is real - that if this is abroad, then why not in Brazil'.