This film of Marques Almeida models striding through the sea off the northern Atlantic coast of Portugal might give a misleading impression. It was yet another stop in the long series of outdoor fashion shows that carried the fashion caravan all over the map this summer. For this, no one has traveled very far. There was no front row of celebrities, influencers and editors fanning themselves in the July heat. Marta Marques and Paolo Almeida present their shows in Portugal because that’s where they live.
Marques explained how long and how many people were involved in making this marine spectacle scenario in the town of Viana do Castelo on the northern Atlantic coast – not a one-time event, but a fight with the tides filmed at the exact point when their models appear to be walking on water, using a sea wall as a runway. “We spent weekends there studying the tides, asking the locals for advice and training, which meant twice a day for 20 minutes when the sea was at the right level,” she laughs.
They chose the place for many reasons – for them, it is an ideal symbol, facing the ocean, of the vibrant Portuguese cultural energies that manifest themselves in the 46 look collection: multi-textile “psychedelic” patchworks, a coat in giant cloth of several colors. , a straw hat as big as a canopy, cobweb knits and puffy maxi shirts over their signature wide, baggy jeans. “Viana do Castelo is a small town, but with a lot of craft tradition, and it has a very supportive local council with a female leader in charge of artistic events.”
This summer’s collection, which will be launched tomorrow on Marques Almeida’s e-commerce site, was another adventure in one of the long-term missions they have set themselves: “to strengthen creative communities and preserve ancestral knowledge ; to ensure that artisanal techniques do not disappear over time, and are celebrated and regenerated to prolong their presence in our modern lives.
Their spectacular pieces are commissions from five artisans and artists that they highlight on their website as Marques Almeida M’AKERS – women who use recycled and found materials as part of a traditional practice. The multicolored chubby was woven by Fatima Ferreira, a traditional upholsterer who works next door to the designers’ house in Porto. “She sources scraps from nearby textile factories and weaves them on a wooden loom that her grandmother taught her to use.”