Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ronaldo Fraga

I want to keep you gorgeous readers updated on what's going on at SPFW as quickly as possible, so I'm transcribing my thoughts from the runway directly from my notebook. Coming to you (almost) live from the second row at Ronaldo Fraga:

Definitely the biggest commotion so far, this beloved designer has created the biggest production yet. The invitation arrived as a big fish wrapped in newspaper, and the runway, bathed in blue light, has giant metal bowls piled with at least 10lbs of rock salt into a pyramid. There are thick boat ropes dangling at the head of the stage and I already feel like I'm under water.

Truly theatrical. All the models lined up horizontally behind the rope and walk out one at a time, their colorful fringed visors hiding their face (except for a sparkle of pink lip gloss on all models, male and female) and making the group of semi-hidden models into a bed of coral. Beautiful, intricately embroidered shifts and fishscale-styled shoes in metallic leather. Flats and 40s style square t-strap heels, they're over the top and I love them. Hair is twisted up into false dreads and knotted on the head like rope.

Relaxed, breezy beach wear in muted colors with really creative cuts. Mix-match prints done well, like madras plad shorts with an ethnic, batic, geometric top. HUGE oversized clutch like a quilted fish. Sometime the nautical theme goes too far (like with burlap sack purses and burlap sack printed silk dresses) and I am not crazy about the fish-printed denim:
stuff but I looooove the print separates and the innovative, yet flattering, cuts on everything:

There are only a couple embroidered pieces but they are by far the best, showcasing Brazil's long (and wealthy) history as one of the world's biggest textile producers:
At the end of the show, the models come out slowly, hand-in-hand, snaking through the big salt bowls like a multi-celled, sinewy creature, stopping and sitting delicately amongst the bowls as Fraga comes sprinting out to take his bow amongst his well-deserved standing ovation.