Diversity, technology, game universe and a fashion that mixed comfort and glamor were the main highlights of the 52nd edition of São Paulo Fashion Week, which came to an end this Sunday (21). Entitled “Regeneration”, the event was held in physical and virtual form, with on-site parades at the Pavilhão das Culturas Brasileiras, in Ibirapuera.
In most of the presentations, whether digital or physical, one of the main highlights was the presence of models with different bodies, of all sizes, colors and genders, who transformed the runway into a more realistic Brazil, as Thaís Carla, an activist against the fatphobia and that he experienced, for the first time, stepping on the catwalk of a fashion week.
“I felt like I was in a real Brazil. People live in a bubble and don’t understand that there are thousands of types of people: smaller fat, bigger, very thin, not so thin, black, vitiligo, wheelchair users. A multitude of beauties. That’s Brazil, it’s different. I felt happy because that’s the way we are. We all feel like kings and queens there,” he told CNN.
Those who took Thaís, former dancer of the singer Anitta, to the fashion show were Céu and Junior Rocha, brothers and creators of Meninos Rei, a brand that was born in Salvador and which made its physical debut at the event.
“It is extremely important to have a fat body, a transvestite, a trans singer, a wheelchair user and the fat activist Thais Carla on the catwalk. Our brand wants to talk about it, bodies, ancestry, race. We want to strengthen these themes even more”, warns Junior Rocha.
“When we present a real casting, it’s because we want to say that people can’t stand to feed this diet that fashion has introduced in the market anymore, that what is acceptable is to be thin and white, references that are not ours”, explains Céu. Brazil needs to drink from Brazil, like its culture, respect the people, respect the bodies, which are really real bodies. We leave this São Paulo Fashion Week with the feeling of having accomplished”, he completes.
Rafaella Santos, black woman, influencer and younger sister of soccer player Neymar Jr, also walked for the first time, as a guest of Baška, and reveals that she was nervous before stepping onto the catwalk. THE CNN, says he felt an energy very different from anything he’s ever experienced, and emphasizes the strength that a more heterogeneous casting has in a fashion week.
“I think this diversity is incredible, we have to experience it more. I really expected this change to happen”, he celebrates.
For Dani Rudz, a specialist in fashion and the plus size market, he believes that Brazilian fashion is undergoing a ‘true democratization’, but there is still a long way to go before diversity is really inserted in this universe.
“I don’t believe that little by little we will look with more affection to fat people. I missed brands that produce exclusively for this audience. I missed fashion and plus size market specialists in mentoring and training, in addition to debates and presentations, I missed actually fat models on the runways. We are still quota. And a timid share. The brands insist that inserting only ‘curvy size’ models on the runways is promoting inclusion. And it’s not.”
The specialist also points out that, while behind the scenes, among the staff and regulars there is a great diversity and variety of different bodies, with mannequin numbers from 44 to 62, the space on the runway needs to grow a lot.
“These people are present at the event, hungry for fashion, working for fashion and not being contemplated in the fashion shows”, he complains. “I’ve never seen such a fat presence among the regulars at an edition of Fashion Week. We cannot go against the appeal of this public”.
The presenter, writer and image and fashion consultant Arlindo Grund accompanied each of the shows in this edition from the front row. From a privileged place, he believes that the event is still a reflection of society’s behavior, but that we live in a period of adaptation to these new times, with clothes to be used anywhere. The specialist indicates that functional fashion, not just comfortable and creative, with technological fabrics and modern models, is the trend for the coming seasons.
“These are clothes that allow you to be comfortable wearing a garment, but at the same time manage to have a picture of your personality through it and communicate what you want”, he says. “Weider Silveiro, for example, made a collection with knits and sweaters and a well-defined silhouette. At the same time, he presented coats and blazers that looked like bathrobes and that also brought that warmth thing. It was very interesting”, he praises.
About these changes during the pandemic, Dani Rudz believes that fashion has not been dormant, but has become an escape tool to withstand this difficult period. The specialist followed the physical and digital fashion shows and agrees that rethinking the comfort of clothes was one of the key points in choosing the elements that arrived at São Paulo Fashion Week.
“Fabrics such as knits were crafted with structure and glamour. More comfortable shapes flooded the fashion shows, bringing not only beauty but functionality. For me, the main change was in shoes. They are creative and down to earth. Almost without heels or with wide heels, structured and low, slippers, papetes, sneakers, flats, flats. We reframe our look and now hand-pick the battles of the day we want to buy. A real liberation”, he details.
Grund also points out that the two extremes were very present on the catwalks: sensual clothes that reveal skin, tight to the body, while looser, deconstructed, oversize tailoring was shown. “I think the opposite lengths are very present this season. Natural fabrics too, with linen, a nice color chart that ranges from neon to burnt,” he says.
Another trend in post-pandemic fashion is to bring what is shown on a catwalk ever closer to the final consumer. That’s what stylist João Pimenta believes. He, who has dressed international celebrities like Apl.de.ap, lead singer of The Black Eyed Peas, says that his collections have always portrayed what is seen on the streets, but this time, he needed to invest even more in this concept.
“I wanted to make this bridge from the runway to the store, with the creation of more real clothes, even so that people know that these clothes exist within my brand”, he says. “With social networks and the repercussion of the fashion show, demand for the pieces is high in stores. It’s really nice to think that, the next day, people are already wanting to buy”, he celebrates.
Games and phygital concept
One of the most talked about subjects since the brands’ announcement of the 52nd edition of the São Paulo fashion week was, without a doubt, the mixture of reality and fiction on the catwalk. In a partnership between stylist Daniel Ueda and stylist Alexandre Herchcovitch, fans of the Free Fire game and the general public watched a parade of 20 custom skins (appearance of the characters).
“Bringing together different consumer and behavioral cultures through clothing is a social function and this interaction also happens in the universe of games. In the references, the highlight was the vibrant colors, neon tones and utilitarian and sporting inspirations. Nylon jackets, belts and suspenders set the tone for this fashion that mixes real and virtual. An incredible job done by the duo”, praises Grund.
Due to public restrictions during the shows, some brands chose to bring the trends in a hybrid way between digital and physical, which became known as phygital. João Pimenta is well acquainted with this “new normal” – this was the third time he held a virtual fashion show. For him, the best thing about this modality is being able to direct the audience’s eyes to where he wants the focus to be.
“It’s a way of showing the entire work, but without a doubt the face-to-face one makes a lot of difference, it’s a lot of energy to see the queue set up backstage.”
For Dani Rudz, this format is functional and democratic because it promotes fashion through different communication channels. “It democratizes the participation of brands and allows more fashion professionals to be included”, he says.
“Thus, the fashion universe can create new and powerful narratives and walk towards this transformation, which we saw born with the pandemic, enabling this globalization”, he details.
This new way of watching and following fashion also gives more voice to previously unknown brands that now have the opportunity to show their essence, such as Meninos Rei, who left Salvador, made the first show virtually in the last edition and has now been able to step on it. at SPFW alongside brands already consolidated in the market.
“We are going through a moment of transformation, of renewal of everything that concerns our work. There was a general recognition, especially here in the Southeast.
“I believe that, as a black mark, we are managing to reach the places that were denied”, concludes Junior Rocha.