Alexandra Moura: Indo for indies and other romantic tales
Meet the Portuguese designer taking inspiration from indigenous clothes to create genius fashion.
Burberry’s may be the hardest seat to get during London Fashion Week, but that doesn’t make it the most interesting. For five days, fresh talent shares the spotlight with established designers and creatives from all over the world. There’s a buzz in the air. People look cooler. There’s more sharply dressed guys around. And you may well bump into Leandra Medine (Man Repeller) just off Regent Street - I did.
The calendar is changing and fashion weeks seem a bit like an animal on his way to extinction – or maybe some kind of mutant evolution. As they are, what fashion weeks have to offer is the chance to discover new designers.
Even though she started her own brand 15 years ago, Alexandra Moura has just started to show her work outside of Portugal where she is a household name. The Asian crowd loves her attention to detail and clean cuts and London will love her androgynous romanticism. She has the full package mixing streetwear with frills, genderless silhouettes with an ethnic vibe and rich fabrics. The best thing about this combination is that it comes from a genuine place. Instead of catering for the desires of the fashion crowd, Alexandra Moura’s creative spirit is a hungry wolf that wonders the planet in search of exotic tribes and cultures to find nourishment.
On Monday, Alexandra Moura made her second appearance on London Fashion Week. Models walked to the sound of a classic Portuguese guitar remixed by Beatbombers, two DJs who scratch the hell out of it. The track, like Alexandra’s work, is a place where old meets new to create something fresh that honours its history. Even though many Portuguese fashion designers aim for the same kind of tribute, Alexandra Moura does it without creating clothes that are a caricature of that past made for those who know the true meaning of the word “saudade”.
Her AW17 collection takes inspiration from the Portuguese empire during the XVII century and its presence in East Timor and Indonesia, but it did not have the weight of big History books. The designer used gorgeous ethnic jewellery, with a similar shape and size to headphones, that played with the past whilst looking familiar enough to resonate with anyone. Traditional Indonesian prints were reinterpreted in jacquard sweaters and paired with hanging oversized fillets and puffer jackets. The result is as wearable as it is unique.
The collection made the transition from workwear to ultra-feminine to evening dresses with opulent gold prints without breaking a sweat. Even though it seems like Alexandra Moura’s designs have something for everyone, it is far from being bland. On the contrary, it captures quite well the current appetite for mixing and blending opposite styles. What Alexandra Moura does different, her secret ingredient is roots.
For more visit www.alexandramoura.com