His opulent and avant garde pieces have become somewhat of a hallmark upon the Lisbon runways. Whether it’s oxidised brass, industrial scale filigree or razor thin radiographic film – in the hands of jewellery maverick and accessories designer Valentim Quaresma it doesn’t take long for raw materials to become objects of sheer desire.
Having designed under the wing of Portuguese fashion matriarch Ana Salazar from 1990-2010, it was in 2008 that Quaresma decided to launch his own label. A mere three years later – after the exhibition of his “Alchemy” collection debuted at the Museum of Fashion and design in Lisbon – Quaresma became a fixed and welcome addition to the ModaLisboa calendar. Since then he’s grown into somewhat of a trailblazer for Portuguese accessories on the global fashion circuit, constantly forging new territory for jewellery and accessory designers to come. The designers collections have been presented at Bread and Butter Barcelona, Cesis fashion art festival in Latvia, Bijhorca in Paris and the MoBa biennial in Arnhem to name a few.
Maestro of Materials
In each collection Quaresma never fails to reinvent his materials in an innovative and compelling way, such that his shows remain some of the most highly anticipated each season. His Fall/Winter collection for 2017 entitled “History” conjured images of various periods across the last century including the Victorian era, the Punk movement, the industrial revolution of the 1920s and art deco motifs.
The pieces included staggered layers of radiographic film fitted to the torso side by side with reconstructed Victorian jewellery. All nested on the crown of the head and draping down the front of the body against subtle black garments and striking make-up. At times pieces nodded to the heavy embellishment of gothic architecture before transitioning to more minimal but intricate chokers and collars. In one moment the audience was met by voluminous silhouettes of feathers, in the next the simplicity of draped leather and silver buckles of reworked belts.
In stark contrast his latest collection “Carnal” struck a chord of oriental influence with emphasis on the luxury, attention to detail and romanticism evocative of Japanese culture. Against a canvas of black, golden and hazel hues of brocade and mesh outfits Quaresema sent out his own imagined gang of what in certain moments could be considered the darker, more alluring Harajuku girl gone bad. Very bad. Tightly bound pigtails and up styles hosted dense silver hoop earrings. Male models showcased multiple piercings in each ear where earrings fell to form necklaces resembling spiderwebs of silver. Photographs were incorporated into both heavy bangles stacked upon the wrists as well as body harnesses with shapes resembling shards of mirror.
We don’t know about you, but we’re thrilled to see what comes next with this unique #StreetStyleRebel.
Catch Valentim Quaresma at #StyleOutLoud on March 8th in Teatro Capitólio, where he’ll be teaming up with Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters to create a new music and style experience.