Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decoding : When Fashion meets Contemporary Architecture, the Lourenço family

Pedro Lourenço's Jacket
 The first collection presented at the last Fashion Week of Paris has been quite a revelation for many fashion critics. Indeed, they were first skeptic, they thought they were going to see another teenage designer. But Pedro Lourenço, 19 years old only, forced them to change their mind in just one show. It was not a complete challenge : the young Brazilian designer is definitely not a novice. His Parisian show was already his tenth one, as he has presented his very first collection at the age of 13. That sounds young, but not for the son of Reinaldo Lourenço and Gloria Coelho, two of the most famous designers of Sao Paulo. As you might have guessed, fashion is a family business for the Lourenços.
The Wyly Theatre of Dallas by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus
 Pedro is a very serious boy, talking with ease of both the commercial and the artistic aspects of his work. Down to earth, he favours quality to an unbridled creativity, but he is aware that his clienthood is attracted by his most futuristic pieces. So, for Paris, he has developped a very matured line, constituted of architectural and military strict dresses, structured with black leather lined with neoprene and geometrical effects which have been described as venetian-blinds. But the secret of the neofuturistic appearance of his work resides in his main influence : in fact, he eagerly quotes Oscar Niemeyer, his compatriot, who is a worldwide famous architect, considered as a pioneer. I can't help but also see the grooves of Dallas' Wyly Theatre.This influence of contemporary architecture is very vibrant in Lourenço's work, both conscient and unconscient, and it can easily be explained by his heritage.
Reinaldo Lourenço - Shigeru Ban
 A quick look at his parents' work is enlightening. Reinaldo Lourenço, his father, seems to be a master of architecture, with some woven dresses which directly connect him with the genius of lightness, the Japanese Shigeru Ban. In both men's work, the attention of the details reveals a will of space and of agility. Reinaldo's woman is fleeing the fetters and is yearning for appeasement. His clothes looks as organic as the material used by the Zen architect. We could also find the troubling sensuality of the Pompidou Center of Metz, in the east of France ( designed by the Tokyo's master in collaboration with French architect Jean de Gastines ) into some dresses of the son, the fitted uniforms imitating the curves of the roof structure of light wood.
Gloria Coelho - Zaha Hadid in Beijing
 On the side of the mother, Gloria Coelho, the choice goes on metal structures and a more futuristic relief, which is not without reminding the last collection of British Gareth Pugh, another architectural designer. Perhaps it is already the hand of Pedro, who has handled his mother's line "Carlota Joakina" for years, but I recognize the Walt Disney Concert Hall of Los Angeles in those stratums of brushed metal. They are also close of the work of another famous woman, Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, especially with her project of the Chaoyangmen SOHO III in China.
Pedro Lourenço AW 2010 - Oscar Niemeyer
 Both Reinaldo and Gloria are harden craftsmen who perfectly know how to use the futuristic shapes that attract the public's eyes. Pedro has grown up with this experience, and with his modernity and talent, he already masters the tools that other designers take years to learn. The young man is not a privileged, even if he is given an attention and an help ( his stylist is Brana Wolf, his protector, equally famous Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch ) some others fail to receive for their first step into the Industry. But even if he used the same room as Yves Saint Laurent, offering himself a unique jewel case to his first media-covered collection, the Brazilian gifted child knows he will have to work hard. He has received the tag of "New Nicolas Ghesquière" : already, the industry tries to format him.
Pedro Lourenço AW 2010 - The Pompidou Center of Metz by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines
 But if Pedro has got actually some likeness with the designer of Balenciaga, he is determined to impose his personal style. His Spring/Summer 2011's collection is already a new step toward assertiveness. This time, he chosed to marry a white and denatured leather to an almost invisible tulle, revealing bodies with the same elegance as the mashrabiyas used by French architect Jean Nouvel for his Louvre of Abu Dhabi. The collection and the museum are very similar : white, with an openwork design, almost austere, but also sensual, the dome of the building echoing the laid bare curves of the women. The unity is less rigid than his Autumn/Winter 2010's collection, and also closer to ready to wear.
Pedro Lourenço SS 2011 - The Louvre of Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel
 But if the ghost of Balenciaga has to haunt Lourenço, I would prefer to associate his creative approach to those of the avant-gardist André Courrèges, a French designer well-known in the 60s for his structured yet liberating clothes. He is the one who established the miniskirt and wanted to create clothes which will make the women free, before the moral revolution of May 1968. The Asian purity of Pedro Lourenço's new collection follows the step of the black and white lines of Courrèges, heralding a promising fashion adventure.
The French timestamp is already on the South American young talent, since he has worked a month at the house of couture of Giambattista Valli. But it is very improbable that Pedro Lourenço would forget his Brazilian origins, he who honours this continent, still neglected by the almighty Westerner fashion world. Hopefully not for long ...
Pedro Lourenço SS 2011 - André Courrèges
The official website of Pedro Lourenço is not yet avaible but here's the address : ( I hope they will correct the mistake of "Coming soon" with two m )
His parents' websites are working but they are only in portuguese, and his mother's is not updated ( the date is 2008 ). They definitely need a good spotlight.

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