September 27, 2011 Paris
In place of palm trees, the 21-year-old Brazilian designer was thinking about a different sort of greenery: eco-architecture and structures built from mixed recycled materials. It's why his graphic collaged bouillabaisse included metallic matelassés and organzas that looked like foil insulation, and the copper-colored zips that unfurled his leather jackets and trimmed the pockets on his cropped pants recalled tubing and wire. A crinkled linen looked like hemp, cutting the industrial feel with a rough-hewn earthiness, even when it was embroidered with a lapful of beaded fringe. (Those wine-cork-soled sandals perhaps took the theme a bit far.) Until now, Lourenço has skewed elegant in his stance, but here his shapes took their cues from street wear and the familiar outlines of leather jackets, cropped pants, and sporty tank dresses—a welcome direction.
If it sounds like there were a lot of moving parts, there were, and the show wasn't without its clunky or overworked moments. Many in the audience saw shades of Nicolas Ghesquière, another designer who just last year kicked around ideas of household products and street couture. But, after a mere four seasons, Lourenço's ambitions are still new and rapidly evolving; seeing where he goes next should make for a good show.