We interviewed Inês Torcato, one of the designers participating in the last edition of Portugal Fashion.
What is your assessment of this year's Portugal Fashion?
In spite of all the circumstances and restrictions necessarily applied because we are dealing with the covid-19 pandemic, the balance was very positive. There was some emptiness of feeling at the moment, the lack of public and some human warmth, but all this was overcome by a good organization that did everything in its power to make the event as close as possible to a normal, maintaining all safety standards. I even think that we managed to convey some sense of hope for the future.
What was the great inspiration for this collection?
This collection had a different origin than all the previous ones. In this edition of Portugal Fashion I presented my new project, the brand Torcato, and the inspiration for the collection that was presented on video and physically, was the very concept of the brand. Torcato is a brand that wants to reach everyone, to be accessible to everyone. It is a more inclusive brand, embracing the differences, more sustainable and close to the consumer. Basically it represents everything that I always wanted to transmit, that fashion exists as a tool that allows us to approach our identity and communicate it to the world, because what we wear is the first image that others have of us. And to feel good in our skin should be accessible to everyone regardless of body, size, gender, ethnicity, etc. It is also a brand that wants to be as transparent as possible regarding the origin of its products and manufacturing processes, as an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the industry, and that values the national and local product above any other.
What is the reason for the choice of used fabrics?
The selection of materials is one of the most important parts in creating a collection. For me quality is fundamental in my work, both in the materials and in the confection. Working with good quality fabrics is very important, and this is the first reason and the one that motivates me to search for Troficolor. In this concrete collection I chose some hard denims, to create a raw and clean language, and also organic, in the search for a more sustainable world.
Do you think it was three days of Portugal Fashion very different from previous years? Did you really feel the effects of the pandemic?
Yes, I would say that the effect was felt a lot. Not so much the absence of the public, because I only feel it at the moment of the presentation itself, but mainly backstage, where there were much fewer people than usual. The space was much wider, a lot of social distance and the already usual obligation of wearing masks. All these circumstances, although very necessary at this moment, create almost a human and emotional distancing. On the other hand, one felt a collective strength and a very great will to make it happen independently of everything else.
Did you feel, in any way, that this phase that we went through affected the concretion of your collection? What impact did the pandemic have on your work and creative dynamics?
In this case the pandemic had a very big impact on my work because it ended up being the motivating force of the new step I ended up taking. It was the period of confinement that brought me more clarity about the new brand Torcato, which had already been in project for some time. It was also in that period that I had the experience, as a consumer, of the difficulties that are presented to us when we try to buy clothes online. It was all these technical difficulties that led me to want to create a solution for this in the new brand. As for production difficulties, I hardly felt that in the whole collection process, precisely because I was already looking exclusively for national materials and local production, and I feel that the biggest difficulty was for orders or international production.
What are the prospects for the future?
For my professional future I hope to be able to build this new project without neglecting the ones I had until now, I also hope that new opportunities and challenges will appear, and I already have some prepared surprises that I still can't unveil. For the textile sector, and also for our country, I hope that the post-pandemic will bring a new collective consciousness of love for others and that this will translate into greater confidence in what is national, whether in terms of design, product or production.
I hope it will also bring a new awareness of the world we live in and that this will translate into more sustainable processes.
Inês Torcato is one of the renowned creators that uses the Troficolor fabrics in its collections.
Inês Torcato, born in Porto, finishes her degree in Fashion Design at ESAD Matosinhos in 2014. Her previous attendance at E.S. Soares dos Reis and Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade do Porto has a great influence on the aesthetic and experimental language of her work. In 2013 she won 2nd prize in the contest "Nespresso Designers Contest". In the following year he wins the first prize in the contest "L'Aiguille D'Or" by Atelier des Createurs and in the same year he exhibits the collection at Espaço Bloom do Portugal Fashion. In 2015 she wins the award for "Best Collection" given by the public, and the award for "Best Pair of Women's Footwear" in the AcrobActic competition with the collection "Ícaro" which is later invited to exhibit at the Anabela Baldaque store in Lisbon. In 2016 she is one of the winners of the Bloom Contest for Portugal Fashion, being classified in 2nd place and also wins the Vogue award given by the pubic at the Porto Fashion Film Festival with the film "Icarus".