Every Prinçipal story originates from some kind of a starting point; a thread, an idea, an image, a community, an industry. The backstage of a fashion show is like a limbo between what has ended, and what is about to begin; so we went looking for brief stories, that could preserve this moment that continually comes and goes.
Metamorphosis can also drive revolution: the 1960s saw a great revolution of women who cut ties and took to the streets to demand equality. We referenced this political aspect by using cut or completely destroyed ties, for example.
How did you come to be here at ModaLisboa? Is it your first time being involved with the Portuguese fashion landscape?
Yes, it is. We're here because we have a lot of friends in Portugal and one of them, Tiago, asked us to show in Lisbon. We got invited with a week's notice, but we immediately said yes, and got super excited about it.
Can you tell me a little bit about the story behind this collection?
Before I started doing fashion, I studied biology. For me, any concept starts with a question that ignites research. For this collection, we looked into the concept of metamorphosis, the adaptation to a new world, the possibility of reinventing ourselves and consequently becoming a different species. We explored cocoon silhouettes, shedding skins, unfinished pieces… Metamorphosis can also drive revolution: the 1960s saw a great revolution of women who cut ties and took to the streets to demand equality. We referenced this political aspect by using cut or completely destroyed ties, for example.
Currently your production is done in Amsterdam. Portugal also has a strong production environment, would you consider producing here?
Yes, I’m actually staying in Portugal for little bit longer to visit some factories. I want to look around and get in touch with makers, so let’s see how it goes. ♥
I can say that I am a person who looks only to the future. I don't like to refer to the past, nor to look at the present. But what I really wanted with this collection, was to stop time and create a new dimension, one which is accessible to everyone.
After presenting four shows, how has your brand and the way you show your collections evolved?
I feel that the brand has evolved and matured. I wanted something different for this season, but also to give continuity to everything that has already been built. Last season, I tried to turn the show into something more performative and this time I wanted to create an environment of interaction between media and sound, light, textiles, people, sculptures and ceramics. So I think everything has evolved towards the creation of various elements that support my work and make it more complex.
In terms of concept, you have explored the passage of time and how it affects clothing. Today you presented the idea of a dream, an illusion, as a premonition of a reality yet to exist. Do you consider time as a recurring theme of your work?
Yes, time is indeed present... speaking of time, I can say that I am a person who looks only to the future. I don't like to refer to the past, nor to look at the present. But what I really wanted with this collection, was to stop time and create a new dimension, one which is accessible to everyone. The Constança Entrudo dimension, where my own ‘self’ is reflected and uncovered. The personal nature of this collection, reveals an inner conflict, which is common to everyone: it tries to display the various layers that exist within us and attempts to distinguish the layer of reality from an illusory one.
As a young designer, what do you think is missing in the industry?
I don't think much about it. But if something is missing, I'll try to create it. I believe that if you’re looking for something, you will find it and solve it. We are living in the best time to be a young designer: the public has changed, the mentalities have opened up, and the consumer increasingly values the design/exclusivity factor, or the time spent in the creative process. And then there’s social media, a great tool for building bridges between the virtual world and reality. So I really think there are no limits. ♥
We have a high quality production industry that works with many international brands and we need to create that same link with national creators.
HIBU in 50 words.
Alone Again. Chloë Sevigny. Coco Capitán. Sam Fox. Miranda July. Zoë Kravitz. Dreaming is Free. Candela Capitán. Everything She Wants. Leandra Medine. Luca Bertea. Mark Gonzalez. Márcio Matos. Herbert Hofmann. Amanhã Não Há Arte. Precious Little Diamond, Martina Boaretto. João Pedro Vale. Rafaela Kacunic. Solange Knowles. Kind of Blue. Nuno Alexandre. Leta Sobierajski. Running Up That Hill. Rita Lino.
How did the “no gender” and “sustainability” values move into your winter collection?
This winter collection is an extension of the previous narrative. We have worked with denims once again, but in the process of adapting everything to the cold season, I added some new elements like padded textures and faux shearling. The workwear references also remain intact, since it supports the genderless factor. As for sustainability, we partnered with Troficolor, which granted us access to organic and up-cycled fabrics and even some dead stock.
What do you think the new generation of designers urgently needs?
We need to develop better support and stronger contact between young designers and the public, buyers, and industry. Partnerships like ModaLisboa x United Fashion are a good example of what can happen more around this idea. We have a high quality production industry that works with many international brands and we need to create that same link with national creators.
Do you think the public is still too caught up in dressing according to gender codes?
Not really. There are no rules anymore and I think even the older generations are getting more and more aware of it. I do not believe in trends, but rather in the many references to the past and the present, which are now combined in countless ways. The internet has already seen a whole generation grow, at the same time it has changed the habits of the planet: ideas and images are now globalised, references come from anywhere and this ends up influencing and opening our vision on clothing. ♥
One of the very first stages of the process is to realise what we can reuse, what is available and to try to buy dead-stock from factories.
Tell me about the collection you just presented.
This season doesn't have a central concept. The idea was to go back to creating a cross between genres, something that I had been working on for a long time, but had left aside. That was my starting point. We also wanted to approach volume and form, which was completely new for me. We’re talking about dresses with ten meters of fabric!
Sustainability is very present in your work, how has it accompanied your artistic process over the years?
It is something already quite inherent in my work. One of the very first stages of the process is to realise what we can reuse, what is available and to try to buy dead-stock from factories. It would be a bit silly to try to operate in another way, considering the size of my brand. It makes more sense to work from what's around us.
What is your ultimate goal?
To just go with the flow. But we do move according to our reality, commercial feedback and inspirations; so based on that, we take the next step.
How does it feel to make fashion in 2020?
It's a big challenge, for sure. But personally, I create fashion today in the same way I did back in 2012. Part of the method has evolved, for sustainability, but my vision of the brand remains the same and that's what moves me.
What advice would you have given yourself an hour ago, right before the show?
To smoke less and calm down. I'd like to feel less stressed and accept the fact that in the end, everything will be fine. But it's a little bit hard, as time goes on, both stress and responsibility increase. ♥
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