Inspired by a romantic and melancholic mood, for AW16 Alexandra Moura dismissed gender stereotypes and created complementary men’s and women’s collections with a shared visual identity. Her contemporary avant-garde collections are cut in unexpected shapes with unusual volumes and exaggerated silhouettes. The pieces are imbued with a romantic nostalgia that is intrinsically tied to the cultural identity of Portugal, the designer’s home.
The colour palette, a fusion of jet black, blood red, golden yellow, rich blue and stark white, draws parallels with tones of historic brocades from the 16th and 18th centuries, and brocade fabrics themselves take centre stage in Moura’s work this season. The sophisticated textures of black and red brocade conjure a mood of bygone eras, but are reinterpreted in a modern manner, making for a striking visual impact. The brocades feature floral motifs that reflect the light, giving new dimension to the fabric and a futuristic feeling that makes them right at home alongside contemporary fabrics like textured denim and crisp cotton.
Ruffles appear as a key visual motif across both men’s and women’s collections creating playful detail, dimension and texture. Inspired by detailing in women’s classical undergarments, the ruffles are used in placements around patch pockets, to frame contrast panels on sweatshirts, and down the side seams of trousers, treating the body as artwork to be framed by the embellishment.
For AW16, Alexandra Moura reworks traditional shapes in her signature style. The proportion of a men’s short is tweaked, creating a high-waisted culotte. Modern bomber jackets are re-imagined in luxurious brocade with decorative lace-up trim, bringing together references of the historic and modern, feminine and masculine. Cropped, tailored jackets in iridescent fabric sit comfortably in both the men’s and women’s collections, enhancing the sense of gender neutrality that the designer was striving for.
Alexandra Moura’s AW16 collection brings to life her aesthetic in an utterly desirable and wearable way. Romantic, melancholic and nostalgic, every piece is a reflection of her contemporary avant-garde style.
(Photos on top)
Photo: Ricardo Santos
Model: Maria Clara - L'Agence Lisboa
Styling: Joel Alves
Hair: Cristina Peixoto
Make-Up: Tom Perdigão