R.Groove F/W ’08 – Fashion Rio (Moda Hype)

R.Groove was the other collection shown as part of the 2nd Rio Moda Hype showcase that I really enjoyed. The synergy between the styling and the clothing was great and the plastic wigs in various hairstyles were genius. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that the young designers who are part of Rio Moda Hype don’t have lots of money at their disposal when making their collections (i’m assuming that since most designers struggle). So instead of relying on the comfort of having a big investment to draw upon, they are driven to find creative solutions to the problem of expressing their vision. For all the big shows that had well-paid stylists backstage tweaking each outfit, perfectly placing each accessory, this collection blew them all away, probably on a much-smaller budget.

The collection was inspired by designer toys, a term used to describe toys and other collectibles that are produced in limited editions  (according to wikipedia), specifically taking cues from the Urban Vinyl sub-category. Designed by Rique Gocalves, the pieces looked like they were the a new incarnation of the spirit of JC de Castelbajac and Walter von Beirendonck (headhunters for these companies take note!). Cartoon prints, exaggerated volumes, top-heavy/lean-bottomed silhouettes and a riot of color were all engaging.

The only distraction were some of the materials, which seemed a little cheap. For this kind of outsize vision, that diverges so drastically from most people’s everyday reality, i think high-end materials are always a good thing to use… it’s a strategy that can make ‘difficult’ creations easier to engage with, or at the very least, more difficult to dismiss. I also think a more luxe approach would have made an interesting contrast with the cartoonish aspect of the collection. Maybe it’s something Rique could consider for the future…