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São Paulo Fashion Week Summer 2009 Highlights
by Phuong-Cac Nguyen
on 24 June 2008
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World themes played out in a broad spectrum of colors, loose, bold forms (including jumpsuits), flashy details like low crotches and ruffles and in the abundance of the universally stylish material, denim, at São Paulo Fashion Week's presentations of summer collections. Adding to the cacophony, the usually clean white lines of Niemeyer's Bienal building where the fashion event took place was transformed into a faux Tokyo in homage to the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil.

The star of the show, as usual, was Alexandre Herchcovitch, inspired this season by conflict zones across the globe. Designs took on military suit-like constructions and tabs visually let loose with soft ruffles and pastels for women, while men's saw new interpretations of uniforms worn in places like Africa and Pakistan. (Click above images for detail.)

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Neon, a more recent addition to São Paulo's growing list of fashion faves, took over the helm from Herchcovitch to imagine Cori this time around. Looking to Mexico for ethnic patterns and cuts resembling traditional items from the culture like ponchos, the upshot was a surprising take on the concept. (Pictured above left.)

For their own line, Neon came through with the feat of tackling as many prints as possible. Tied together by a thematic umbrella of island women, examples include Gauguin's Tahitian ladies and Hawaiian hula girls. (Pictured above right.)

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Super creative agency Oestudio, who came back to SPFW after a two year hiatus, kept their trademark creative cuts and exaggerated hems in prints diagramming their approach to their work. Red cells represented their constantly flexible nature toward projects and geometric shapes in flowers translated into the company's building blocks.

Brazil's freshwater São Francisco river, sacred and endeared by the country's residents but now polluted, was designer Ronaldo Fraga's focus. Fish made frequent appearances and all the denim was inventively well done. (Click above left images for detail.)

In the strange category, Marcelo Sommer's Do Estilista collection went the way of fantasy, riffing on Harajuku, manga and Japanese culture in general. There was a geisha/cocktail dress with a few more appropriately street-ready pieces thrown in, like the soft nurse dress. This show definitely proved that fashion doesn't have to take itself so seriously. (Click above right images for detail.)

You can see more photos of the runway on the official São Paulo Fashion Week site.

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