We interviewed Rita Sá, one of the designers participating in the last edition of Portugal Fashion.
What is your assessment of this edition of Portugal Fashion?
This edition was definitely the beginning of a new direction for Portugal Fashion, much more focused on the search for new strategies for the dissemination of brands at a digital level. The balance of this effort is very positive, although the practically absence of an audience allows its effects to be felt, since the spontaneous sharing by the public generates very strong networks for the dissemination of brands and collections.
What was the great inspiration for this collection?
The SS21 collection has as its starting point the film “Palmeiras na Neve”, a story that recalls the colonial past and the legendary plantations in Africa.
Spain, 1953. Two brothers leave the apathetic mountain snow life to start a journey to the bowels of Equatorial Guinea to work on a cocoa plantation. In this eternally green and warm land they discover the charms of the colony's social life, in contrast to the monotonous and cold life that was lived in Spain in the fifties. At the same time that cold memories are left behind, the suffocating, hot and humid air of unknown and exotic Guinea imposes an inevitable adaptation.
With a strong influence from the universe of classic clothing, the collection explores pieces and silhouettes that result from the continuous transformation imposed by this new, exuberant and tropical territory. Gradually, the materials become lighter, the palette moves from the blue cold to the predominant white and the silhouettes become more untangled. The classic pieces cease to make sense and give way to more practical solutions, inspired by the clothing of the native slaves, who know exactly how to adapt to what nature imposes in such a pulsating and urgent way.
What does this collection effectively mean to "tell" the world?
It is a collection that speaks of a change of environment and social context imposed by a reason of force majeure, and of a consequent transformation and adaptation of the individual to the new context and the new reality. Contrary to what is expected from a situation of radical change, the collection proves that a change can be light and gradual. It is also a collection that aims to value culture and respectfully explore the clothing of the natives who worked on colonial explorations.
What is the reason for the choice of fabrics and colors used?
The transformation imposed by the new exuberant and tropical territory, in contrast to the monotonous and cold life that was lived in Spain in the 1950s is reflected in the collection through the color gradation of the blue cold, in association with the cold lived in the mountains, until the white, a color predominantly used by the inhabitants of this tropical land. Likewise, in the course of the collection, the materials become increasingly lighter and fresher, with emphasis on more refined materials such as linen.
Do you think the pandemic had any impact on the creation of this collection?
Yes, the collection turned out to be quite small, compared to the number of coordinates usually presented by the brand, but on the other hand much more assertive, providing the story in an effective and functional way.
Rita Rodrigues de Sá, born on July 7, 1996, finished her degree in Fashion Design at Escola Superior de Arte e Design, in Matosinhos, in the school year 2016/2017.
In July 2017 she reaches the second place in the Young Creators PFN contest and the second place in the i9Jovem Young Creators contest. Having developed several projects during his graduation, he unseats the final collection of Author Fashion course, "Diz-Orientation", which allowed him to be one of the finalists selected for the Sangue Novo da Moda Lisboa contest, in the October 2017 edition. Having won an Honorable Mention in that contest, it was directly entered in the March 2018 edition, where it presents the "Glass Roofs" collection and is again distinguished with an Honorable Mention. She is also distinguished with the FASHIONCLASH award, which led her to present her collection at the reco-nhecido festival in Maastricht, Netherlands, in June this year. In Maastricht she won the Vancouver Fashion Week award, which gives her the opportunity to present her collection at the Vancouver fashion week in Canada.
In December 2017 she is invited to include the group of three Portuguese representatives in the Portugal Fashion Design Competition, in a total of nine countries present.
With the collection "Glass Roofing" she also becomes one of the finalists of the REBELPIN - Fashion Awards by ACTE contest, which took place in Berlin, Germany, in July this year.