Fashion loves a wunderkind. And perhaps there's something natural about extreme precocity revving the engines of an industry obsessed with youth. Nineteen-year-old Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço is the latest to play the role. His Paris debut last season garnered chainsaw-loud buzz for its intricately wrought, visually arresting leather dresses. Today, an influential crowd, which included Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa, gathered for Lourenço's sophomore outing.
The designer continued to work almost exclusively with leather, but lightened it up by piecing the material in sharply geometric shapes on the body with nearly invisible tulle. He played with the idea of facades, setting tulle into the sides of jackets and the fronts of pants, so a jacket looked as if it were backless and legs appeared to be bare, save for a simple outline in leather.
With sharply geometric color blocks and textures, there was a distinctly futuristic bent to the proceedings. That alternately brought to mind Courrèges and Nicolas Ghesquière's work at Balenciaga. The latter came particularly to the fore in old-school details like the curving, cocooned back of a sleeveless leather coat or the perfectly rippling pleats on a trapeze dress. Yet, while Costa probably saw a few echoes of his work there, too, Lourenço's vision maintained its originality, and his technical proficiency with his difficult chosen fabrication is a thing at which to marvel.
Will these clothes make the transition from runway to street? Last season's dresses had undeniable beauty, but their rigorous architectural construction made you wonder about wearability, as did a few of the pantsuits on the catwalk today. A couple of softer moments, specifically gowns made of a sheer tulle covered in tiny raised squares, hinted that the issue has occurred to Lourenço himself. This wunderkind might just continue to wow.