It will take gorgeous gams and a Girl-from-Ipanema attitude to carry off the mini-hemlines at Maria Bonita Extra. The Parisian-flavoured cocktail dresses came in exaggerated bubble silhouettes and shifts with tulle fringes. Katia Wille designed the Extra line, which is the more affordable collection under the Maria Bonita label.
Backstage, Wille told me how excited she was to be asked to design this collection to mark its 21st anniversary. “I worked with them 10 years ago, but came back to do this collection, which is based on the very best of the designs over the past two decades. The challenge was to take classic pieces, like the cashmere dresses, shirtdresses and puff skirts, and give them a new life – a new future. Tonight they’re back on the catwalk with a stronger attitude.”
And who’s the client? “She’s a young woman—or a woman of any age who loves to wear very short skirts! She’s pure of heart, but she wants to make an impression.” One of those women is Priscila Machado, Miss Brazil 2011. “It’s a very feminine brand,” she said, backstage with Wille. “It shows off a woman’s body without showing off too much. We look hot, but sophisticated hot!”
At New Order, the accessories label under Brazilian megabrand Osklen, the mood was sixties futuristic and the muses were flight attendants dressed in boxy leather shift dresses in bold hues of blue and orange. Icons from that era—globes, aircraft logos and clouds— appeared on the luggage and handbags. The highlight? The go-go glam boots and the clunky plastic and leather clogs with fluorescent detailing.
Backstage, Oskar Metsavaht told me that he’s involved in the concept of the brand, but only as a consultant. “It’s not my style,” he said. “My design team from Osklen doesn’t have the freedom for creativity because it’s my direction and vision that they’re working on. With New Order, it’s their chance to be creative—to have that freedom. We started the line five years ago and it’s going well. It’s my mui mui—but of course in relative proportion,” he laughed.
Other highlights: Bianca Marques made her debut outing on the Rio runway. Her show opened with famed Brazilian prima ballerina Ana Botafogo performing en pointe between two candelabras. It set the tone for the ultra-romantic parade of ruffles, lace, and velvet accented dress shirts and flowing ethereal gowns. At Espaco Fashion, it was drop-waisted flapper girls in burnt orange and earthy brown deco shifts accented with feathers and delicate dangling gold chains.