Fashion Rio Fall/Winter 2010, Part 3. Words & most photos by Glenn Belverio

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Dear Shaded Viewers,

The rest of the week in Rio played out with more interesting collections, an improbable champagne toast to Christian Lacroix, and a Niemeyer pilgrimage to Niteroi.

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JULIANA JABOUR

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Juliana Jabour runway photos: © AGÊNCIA FOTOSITE

I was over the moon for the liquid leggings at Juliana Jabour. Jabour drew her inspiration for winter from the cultural and historical changes that occurred after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Structured and tailored pieces were influenced by military uniforms while Jabour’s knitwear–accented with leather, pearls & python–are just the thing for a chillier, urban winter in Sao Paulo.

 

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On Tuesday night we were all invited to a cocktail at the Museu de Arte Moderna. Opened in 1948, the Museu is the best-known work of architect Rio Affonso Reidy. The Rationalist structure is forever etched in my mind as the location of the fictitious home of the character based on Oscar Niemeyer in the 1964 French comedy “L’homme de Rio” starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Niemeyer had recently finished designing the most important buildings of Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, and the film–which cruelly lampoons Niemeyer–was an expression of France’s jealousy toward Brazil’s architectural innovations of the late ’50s and early ’60s.

One of my favorite scenes in the film (below) involves Belmondo flying over eerily desolate Brasilia. (The French seemed keen on portraying the new Brazilian capital as a cold, deserted, alien landscape devoid of human warmth and doomed to failure).

 

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The party was for the opening of a new show at the Museu called “The French Room,” a collaboration between XCLC (the design studio of Christian Lacroix, sweetie) and COOPA-ROCA–an artisan cooperative of women seamstresses and craftworkers from Rocinha. The show’s concept is a loopy fairy tale that only the French could conceive: financially stymied couturier Christian Lacroix is transported back to 19th-century France during the reign of Napolean III and is commissioned to create a set of peculiar furniture for the Emperor….which is actually made by economically marginalized favela residents in 21st-century Brazil. (Ah, fashion.) These iron pieces wrapped in silk ribbon, shantung crochet & raffia are on view through February 28.

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Photographer Jeremy Kost (the one on the right) loves jumping in front of other people’s cameras.

 

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Coven, one of my favorite Rio design houses, presented another strong collection. But beyond the clothes, I was immediately struck by the obviousness of the hair inspiration:

 

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Rio is Burning: Jason Campbell worked the piers in his fierce Ann Demeulemeester 4-inch heels. Vogue!
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The Moment’s Sameer Reddy is all about his decolletage & GQ India’s Arjun Bhasin is kurta-tastic.

R. GROOVE

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R. Groove runway & backstage photos: © AGÊNCIA FOTOSITE

Anyone who is familiar with my Shaded View posts knows that my fashion reports aren’t complete without the inclusion of an utterly preposterous, yet strangely erotic menswear collection. At Fashion Rio, the award goes to R. Groove, maker of jackets cut from sheer ladies lingerie, Veruschka-like floppy hats, Op-Art shorts (which, frankly, I would wear) and chunky, outsized knits. The pastel palette of the knits and the above pants seem to suggest the colors of some of the flora and fauna of the planet Pandora. 
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Models clad in glitzy music motifs tickled the ivories at Alessa. Jazzy!

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Brazil’s most well-known upscale brand, Osklen, premiered a cutesy accessories line called New Order. I liked the stuffed, fang-bearing pit bulls that were waiting for us on our seats. Grrrr!

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The day after the shows ended, I took the ferry to Niterói with my friends Carole and Arjun. Our mission was to visit one of Oscar Niemeyer’s most celebrated structures: The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect of Niterói–it’s sort of the New Jersey of the Rio area–but a beer hall named after Osama bin Laden’s cave wasn’t exactly at the top of my list of expectations. Only in Niterói kids, only in Niterói.

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After a grueling walk in 98F unshaded sun–we got lost and wandered around for what seemed over an hours–we finally arrived at our Modernist oasis. Bliss.
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The design of Niemeyer’s Niterói museum was inspired by the surrounding natural landscape. As further testament to his genius (the master turned 102 last month, btw), you can see how he designed the angle of the building to complement the slant of Sugarloaf Mountain. Sublime.

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Me enjoying the views from Oscar’s red ramps

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Niemeyer is also famous for elevating his buildings on stilts or perches and placing pools of water beneath them that function as natural cooling systems. Ingenious.

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Arjun and I having a transcendental moment. Om.
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Back in Ipanema with my pal Carole, I had some lovely fresh oysters and my last passion-fruit caipirinha of the trip. Divoon.

Thanks for reading!

Further reading:

The Carnaval creations of the Porto da Pedra Samba School

Fashion Rio Part 1: The Goth from Ipanema, Corcovado, Gilberto Gil

Love,

Glenn Belverio

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Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio is a writer and New Yorker. He has been reporting for ASVOF since 2005 and currently works at The Museum of Modern Art as the Content Manager for MoMA Design Store.