[caption id="attachment_6824" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="A look from Walter Rodrigues's collection. Image courtesy of Fotosite. "] [/caption] Amish-punk chic, with a touch of boho flair, were the hallmarks of Sao Paulo-based designer Walter Rodrigues’ fall/winter showing at Rio Fashion Week. The minimalist and modest look of the long black skirts, white buttoned-up shirts and cropped three-quarter jackets were offset by boyish combat boots. The initial pieces were a somber black and white, but these quiet silhouettes were re-imagined in bold prints, with bright red and orange hues. The Amish-looking black caps were also replaced with bright patterned scarves. The inspiration for the collection came from Rodrigues’ favourite film, The White Ribbon by Austrian director Michael Haneke. “I saw this collection through the same black and white lens as the film, but then through my own lens I added in the red, orange and blue colours. I have never been to an Amish colony but I just love this look. The simplicity of it; the lack of exaggeration and complication.” [caption id="attachment_6825" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Filhas de Gaia's Japanese-Afro look. Image courtesy of Fotosite. "] [/caption] “A Japanese manga character with an Afro” was the creative twinning going on at Filhas de Gaia, explains designer Marcela Calmom. “We wanted to do a collection that was based on Africa and Japan,” she explained. “They are very different cultures but we love the contrast. The animal prints come from Africa and the long lean dresses are from Japan.” Highlights included the dramatic python body-con print dress. [caption id="attachment_6826" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="A look from the Andrea Marques collection. Image courtesy of Fotosite. "] [/caption] At Andrea Marques the look was ’70s secretary style with its tie-front chiffon blouses and prim A-line silhouettes. Snake skin prints on silks and the black skull of a bird gave this classic fashion its modern edge. “We went with a very organic theme from flowers to snake skins to bird carcasses,” the designer Andrea Marques, said backstage. “We created all the prints, including the one of the bird carcass. I think our bird is a little mysterious and at the same time a little bit rock and roll.” [/caption] Oestudio—an experimental fashion line—approached 20 designers, most of whom are students, to create a collection for the “human of the future,” explained Barbara Boneca, one of the young designers behind the collection. “Our new human is someone who is more in touch—for them, it’s not about having iPhones and tablets—it’s about having relationships that matter.” Boneca said that the designers were also asked to play with fashion conventions and to experiment with inverting style elements. For example, pockets appeared like miniature upside down t-shirts and several shirts had four arms instead of two. Some cocoon-like sweatshirts had no sleeves and pant legs were a combo of palazzo and cigarette styles. “Inspired by the inverted idea, I designed a reversible wool poncho that turns into a shirt,” said Boneca. Really, wool in Rio? “Yes, we have to make fashions for winter even if it doesn’t match our reality,” she said laughing. “We’re making fashion for the south of Brazil where it’s cold – and we also travel! Very few of us have seen snow, so it’s a big fantasy for us.” [caption id="attachment_6828" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Rio Fashion Week wraps up with Auslander's streetwear collection. Image courtesy of Fotosite. "] [/caption] Rio’s 20th fashion week closed with Auslander’s popular streetwear collection. Backstage I chatted with the stylist, Jose Canarano, to get the lowdown on the show. “The theme is about chilling out,” he said. “In a cozy way. After parties, our girl and guy go to the mountains to visit their grandmother and they get into her closet and wear her ponchos, shawls and sweaters. We begin the collection with black—to symbolize we’re going out in the night and we finish in beige and white because it’s day. Our couple this year is Daisy Lowe and Jon “Bones” Jones, the UFC fighter. Last collection it was Andrej Prejic and Rick 'Zombie Boy' Genest. Lowe represents the night for us – she’s crazy—the Paris Hilton of England. Jones is all about health and being strong for the night.” Perhaps this year’s couple was a little too obscure for the crowd. Reaction to their catwalk crawl was muted compared to the front row frenzy set off when a popular group of Brazilian soap stars arrived. That's a wrap on Rio Fashion Week! What did you think of the collections and styles?