Yesterday, Joana Duarte revealed her new collection at a digital-first London Fashion Week. The debut of ModaLisboa's Designer took traditional embroidery, ancestral techniques and the affection of the trousseau to LFW, which excels in supporting, encouraging and praising emerging Designers.
Inspired by an old Peniche tale about a pair of star-crossed lovers, LOVE BEGETS LOVE is BÉHEN's Resort 2022 collection. It is the final chapter of three collections that explored the concept of love, marriage, and what it means to be a woman throughout history.
AMOR COM AMOR SE PAGA, the Portuguese original title, begins with the tragic love story of Rodrigo and Leonor, who go against their parents' strife only to meet the end of their lives, but not the end of their love. It's a traditional tale that still lingers in the waves of Peniche, a Portuguese fishermen town, and that is now captured by the director Miguel Cassiano, with the support of Peniche Municipality, Peniche Captaincy and Portuguese Environmental Agency.
Full of sacred symbols and symbology, BÉHEN's Resort collection intertwines history within Portuguese ancient crafts, such as crochet, Madeira and Viana do Castelo typical embroidery, and upcycled antique textiles like curtains, bedcovers and linen from the designer's grandmother archive and collected during this past year from all over Portugal. The result of this almost obsessive search is a love letter to all the women who shared their wedding trousseau with the brand so that this collection could be a reality.
But the dedication of women of all ages to this project doesn't stop here. All of the crochet drawings were selected from hundreds of antique magazines that the designer's neighbors happily shared with her, and the prints were made from parts of crochet samples sewn by women who trust Joana Duarte with their precious archives, as well as from antique church lace found in Azores. The threads were a gift from one of the best Portuguese manufacturers of 100% cotton crochet threads, Limol, and it was Dona Rosa, an icon of the Lisbon-based project A Avó Veio Trabalhar (Grandma Came to Work), who made some of the pieces come to life.
For BÉHEN, this collection is the outcome of one year and a half of work towards a better future for all the artisans and embroiders that, much like the old love tales that are passed from generation to generation, cannot be forgotten. Promoting Portuguese crafts and savoir-faire and engaging as many different women and communities as possible is BÉHEN's mission and way to create fashion with meaning and a little bit of magic.
PHOTOS: Elisa Azevedo
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