Saturday, March 13, 2010

A fresh face in Paris

On Friday, one of my friends emailed me a link to a show from Paris Fashion week. I'm not one to religiously watch all the new collections online. I usually watch my favorites and skim the rest. But I have to say, I watched this show several times through. And I'd never heard of the designer before.

The details were incredible. Leather dresses that gave the impression of smocking, translucent fabric, hard graphic stripes— I couldn't get enough. It was a fully realized collection. The same elements were woven expertly throughout the show; gathered leather with metallic studs appeared first on a dress, next on a skirt, then a jacket. It seemed like the work of an old pro.

But it wasn't. Well, I guess you could say it was the work of a young pro. Pedro Lourenço is 19 years old, although points out "he's been a professional designer in Brazil since age 12."

I think most people starting out in the fashion world would be discouraged by hearing this. Although fashion is not as ageist as some professions— say gymnastics— it's always an advantage to have started your career in the womb.

However, I've accepted that my 12th year AND my 19th year are the distant past, and have vowed never to utter the words "but I'm too old to learn ______." I prefer the glass-is-half-full mindset. Which is why, having barely sewn a stitch in my life, I recently enrolled in a garment construction class at FIT. When I read about Lourenço, I couldn't help but think of my professor, who told us on the first day (in a thick Italian accent) that he had learned to sew at age 11. I guess if 11-year-old boys can learn to sew, so can I . . .

You can find a video of the show here.

(Pedro Lourenço runway photos from

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