A master's degree in London and a long trip through India planted an ever-growing skein of ideas in Joana Duarte's mind. The fashion designer was then lost in distant lands of dreams, slowly entangling herself in a love affair with untold stories. Songs sung by characters from the most diverse corners of the world, adventures narrated by fabrics that traverse the globe, and even chronicles adorned with crystals, saris, doilies and all kinds of embroideries. Out of these treasures found in her grandmother's chest or in flea markets and antique shops, Joana creates fashion for this day and age. But she doesn't do it alone: a banner of the connection of women through textiles, BÉHEN collaborates with small communities of woman artisans to give the rags of yore a second life. Thus is spun the romantic tale between the brand and the fashion that favours time, skill, beauty and durability. And from there sprout the seeds for a richer, more ethical and more sustainable world too.
I have left behind the land of mangoes and tamarind
And have come to the land of wild petunias
Mother, you married me off to a place in the desert far away
Morubai, song of the Jogi Nath Kalbelia tribe
A tale told by cloth. Of women from far and near our hearts. Cloths that tell us the knowledge of time and that, together, are layette or “enxoval”, as we call it in Portuguese. The celebration of women and of cloths in the drawers. This collection was possible thanks to the collaboration and efforts of many women who, with the designer, believed in the magic of unity. Together with Aga Khan Foundation and Madalena Toscany Atelier, the clothes were made by real life fairies: lex bouquet made real dreams about vegetables and flowers turned into jewelry; Buketnaya lavka mimimi created shoes that are real bouquets with actual fresh flowers and the beautiful hand-made glass beads from the powerful ladies at Cooperativa de Valorização de Resíduos from São Tomé and Príncipe. The majority of the textiles used are from the designer’s grandmother collection or bought at flea markets all over the world.