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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



 
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Colcci; Thrown Away Giselle

Godfrey Deeny
January 08th, 2008 @ 11:31 PM - Rio de Janeiro

It does seem odd that the world’s reigning runway model Giselle Bundchen limits her appearances in her native country to just one each season for Colcci, whose show Tuesday night in Rio neatly summarized many of the limitations of Brazilian fashion.

Because Colcci’s fall 2008 collection was a hackneyed idea of a rock n roll pastiche. It was over-decorated, a Rio tendency, a weakness merely heightened by having the models emote and mime amateurishly while standing on a slowly moving, circular runway.

Gisele did her standard three turns, opening with a biker jacket, garnet jeans and lace up boots, well cut but predictable and finishing with a uninspiring gold Vegas goddess lame cocktail. But Bundchen sizzled most in just tartan boots and spicy short tunic dress with billowing sleeves.

There were some good Jackson Pollock in nature prints, and the guys had striking cowboy Clockwork Orange pants.

But too often the clothes had poor finishes, the shiny, streaky surfaces meant to look edgy, ended up cheap. And the fashion had no sense of élan.



This season in Rio, Brazilians talk incessantly of Western equity funds acquisition of luxury and fashion brands. Many Brazilian designers hope something similar will happen here. News that the country’s most acclaimed designer Alexandre Herchcovitz himself sold his business to a Sao Paulo investment firm emerged last week.

Several designer houses and fashion brands showing in Rio now have substantial local business – Colcci reportedly sells in close to 1,000 doors. They have perfectly respectable sales figures and believe that in an era of increasing ecological obsession being the lung of the world gives Brazil some credentials.

That said, being a designer or successful designer or brand in the bigger world means having a strong sense of aesthetics and your own DNA. On the basis of this show, Colcci lacks that.

Plenty of money was spent; a fine, looming red brick warehouse in funky Saude; a giant video column, four meters wide on which we enjoyed a pretty decent video display of urban icons – red UK postbox or Chinese restaurant neon – in outer space. The scenery, the best thing about this show, was credited to Pazetto.

While competently styled, this display was ultimately an awkward, stilted affair, made worse by a bombastic soundtrack - a series of speedy cuts the audience was forced to listen to for a good 90 minutes pre-show. That’s something that would never take place in the west, where DJs carefully build tension up to the debut model.

One could imagine an investment fund, doubting this brand’s international reach.

But above all, it was odd to see Bundchen, a stunningly beautiful woman, with the coolest of swaggers, and at her prime in such mundane mode. In a word, a pity.

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