spfw: ronaldo fraga

(images via ffw)

so! even if it may not seem that it’s the case, i wanted to take a moment to note that there’s a method to opt’s programming madness, in that although we have plenty of as-yet-untouched fashion events to discuss ahead of us, i’m trying to get us through some of the backlog ‘ere we turn to the newer stuff. so with all of that in mind, yes, we’ve got a handful more são paulo fashion week designers to discuss, and this includes some of my personal favourites.

thus, as you can imagine, ronaldo fraga has pretty much always been seated somewhere near the top of my spfw estimations, even if there have been a scant couple of occasions during which his work didn’t speak to me as much as, yannow, like other times (see s/s 2011, f/w 2011, s/s 2012, s/s 2013, f/w 2013), but my proclamation for the s/s 2014 season was that things were all good. so that’s a yay for all of us, then.

alors. for the upcoming summer, as the designer always does with his work, he drew on a particular aspect of brazilian culture (although this one also has a world appeal that we’ve seen inspire a number of different international designers), with chic gloria kalil explaining that (trans.) “In a burst of romantic passion for football from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, Ronaldo created an entire collection based on baggy shorts, tees and striped embroidered identification shields of the many and varied clubs, especially the lively and popular teams of the floodplain where blacks and mulattos were accepted and appreciated.”

but! of course he did it in his own colourful and patchworked style, which kind of always reminds me of circuses and carnivals, if only because we’ve seen mr. fraga draw on that inspiration in the past. vogue enthused that (trans.) “(l)ooks refer to uniforms, but the looks in real life appear in  loose bodied silhouette without losing their femininity.  References to various sports: appear on prints, earrings, bags, and even in shoes that look cleats, but that can and should be used outside the field.  In the second half of the show which was even more beautiful in the midst of ribbons, sequins and transparencies, Ronaldo shows the best of Brazilian handicrafts.”

anyway, in giving a lot of detailed history on the sport and race relations in the country (which really you should read to fully appreciate), ffw added on some background of the collection by reporting that (trans.) “Fraga was guided by the stories he heard from his father, a player in the 1950s, but throughout the process, he realized that the history of Brazilian football was still innocent and romantic. The white elite dominated the  fields and when the time came to accepting [other races], in 1930, it was normal that blacks were beaten by the judge or the team committing a foul. ‘Who broke it was Pele,’ he says.”

i suppose this aspect is what ultimately makes mr. fraga’s work so special–that he’s unafraid to reference historical aspects in his collections that aren’t necessarily totally pretty, yet undeniably are a part of the country’s history and have some beauty in their way, as well. and the critics (and consumers!) appear to love him for it, with the brazilian site closet online aptly pointing out that (trans.) “(e)ven if the clothes do not always deliver, we never forget the show.” it’s true, and i love the cultural lessons in these beautiful, creative pieces.

well.  finally, we probably should get to some of the sartorial aspects, so i’ll close things out with some thoughts from elle (trans.): “Characteristics of the masculine uniform, like stripes…rustic fabrics (linen and cotton, among them) and many strong colours were also present. Femininity was in charge of a sexy touch of transparency and brightness of sequins – this detail, in turn, made an unusual partnership with fluorescent laces, gracing tops, skirts and dresses in the final series of the presentation. Among the key pieces of the collection, are the breeches and shorts with…sport-chic linen blazers.”

(enjoy the fashion show video here)


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