15. October 2019


-  ModaLisboa,  ModaLisboa Collective


A year ago ModaLisboa COLLECTIVE began to be planned. There was no theme yet - we just called it 53rd edition - but there was a pulsating urge to inhabit Antigas Oficinas Gerais de Fardamento e Equipamento do Exército. Then conversations between the three institutions - the ModaLisboa Association, the Portuguese Army and the Municipality of Lisbon - began.

From the first day, there was a desire to make it happen. But we all know that wanting is different from materializing it. Luckily, we didn't need that much time. And suddenly it has passed.

It's been three and a half months since ModaLisboa's production team, CML team and the Army have been intervening in the space - and we speak in the present because even though the edition has come to an end, there is still work to do. It took 450 people to build what you saw in these four days.

Looks like a lot of people? It’s not. We had 22 fashion shows and 37 collections. Six Workstation designers who presented their collections at Palácio Sinel de Cordes with an exhibition of the Triennale of Architecture. Four Fast Talks speakers, moderated once again by Joana Barrios, who showed us that fashion can really make this world a better place.

On Friday, with expectation, we opened the Antigas Oficinas Gerais de Fardamento e Equipamento do Exército to Lisbon - and opened much more than that. We also opened ModaLisboa to the public. Four exhibitions, a Wonder Room with 21 brands and an own program, an exhibition of a Dino Alves’ dress that was a true art work, more multimedia installations, six more Workstation artists, a bar and Leitaria Lisboa, another lounge, plus the magic of Messe where we brought back to life the kitchen of Antigas Oficinas Gerais de Fardamento e Equipamento do Exército. We had a Check Point with 18 speakers and moderators and workshops and rountables and networking and learning. We had, for the first time, an APICCAPS happening, with magnificent dancers and a DJ set from Fred, from Orelha Negra, who already taught us that love finds us in the end. We had the special presence of the Army Wind Quartet. We had a resort in Jardim das Laranjeiras that was never less than full.

The LAB Room, whose front row was built with benches and chairs that lined the various spaces, had a soul like few others. The designers lived it to the fullest, filled it by the seams, never left an empty chair and never left the catwalk without leaving us with palpitations. They have done justice to the experimentation platform that they inhabit, showed that it is in the youth of mind that we live the future.

And the future begins with Sangue Novo. It was these ten designers who debuted the 60-meter main catwalk that ran the full length of the Botes Room. A magnificent, imposing, powerful building that seemed to have been made to be the frame of our designers.

It received 16 fashion shows, and none - we repeat, none - was indifferent.

You can see them in magazines, newspapers, websites, platforms, television shows. We received 268 national and 77 international journalists, who visited us to see the creations of national fashion designers for spring / summer 2020.

In total, we received about 25.500 people, who came to the fashion shows and all our open actions. Who came and visited the Museu Militar and the Sala dos Gessos, who came and enjoyed the Feira da Ladra that gave us even more light on Saturday. Who came, as they always come. Who came the first time and will definitely return.

Because if in this edition we went to the Panteão Nacional, imagine where we can go next. Although it's hard to get over the dazzle we lived in Carolina Machado, with the epic monument on one side and the wonderful Lisbon houses on the other, with the public everywhere embracing this very special moment.

And also special were our 40 volunteers, dressed in uniforms made in partnership with Calvelex, with archival fabric provided by the Army itself, and who so well coordinated the space, so well helped all our audience to move through the complex to which now we call home.

But let’s talk about numbers? This was what you were waiting for. Among production, organization, backstage, cleaning, logistics and designers’ teams, we had 1650 people working permanently during the event. We went from the usual two firemen to 11 and a command car. We had a nurse and a rescuer providing medical support, provided by the army. We also had five members of the Military Police, because this space change also required a security reinforcement. We had 25 production assistants and we were sure to reach 89.000 drunk coffees. But here we may be exaggerating.

Most important of all, we have strengthened the partnership with ReFood, which we started last edition. All project materials - furniture, set design - were provided by partners, left the Army's or are reused from previous editions, because an event such as ModaLisboa must be thought of in a logic of sustainability, ethics and reuse.

When Sunday ended and the team gathered, we realized that the theme chosen for this edition could not have been more accurate. The new space has taken a heavy toll on us, but when we are a collective, when we all work towards a common goal, the miles do not weigh in the feet, the voices do not ring in the ears and the tiredness is kept for today.

And the collective does not end in the team. Includes partners, sponsors, the public and journalists. Always includes the Municipality of Lisbon. It includes the Portuguese Army who was the best adventure and mission companion we could have had and who with us agreed to break all barriers and open all gates. Includes journalists, reporters, photographers and videographers who have shown ModaLisboa COLLECTIVE to the country and the world. Includes all audiences who have not left a fashion show without clapping.

Lisboa Fashion Week returns in March 2020, and we can promise now that it will be as special or more special than this one. At the same time as we are writing this text, we are already preparing it. But long before that, we will have more stories to tell.

See you soon.