Prague Fashion Week

20. 11. - 25. 11. 2007, Praha, Sovovy mlýny


Lino Villaventura

Lino Villaventura

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© archiv L. Villaventura

© archiv L. Villaventura

© archiv L. Villaventura

© archiv L. Villaventura

© archiv L. Villaventura

© archiv L. Villaventura

Collection presented on PRAGUE FASHION WEEK

Autumn 2004 – author´s fashion show presented on galaevening Rendez Vous

Information

THE ACKNOWLEDGED STYLE OF A CREATIVE BRAZILIAN FASHION DESIGNER

As it is true in all areas of activity, the fashion world also has those who create and those who imitate. Finding a genuine exponent of the first type is not an easy task – even more so when the person is far from large cities and has none of those omnipresent brand name stores.

Lino Villaventura is one of those very rare cases. From the northern state of Pará, Amazon, Brazil, he has become living proof of the fact that it is possible to express a truly Brazilian fashion identity without appealing to exoticisms or weak stereotypes. His work tears down conceptual prejudices, standards and norms – they are surprisingly new… unusual.
Lino’s originality springs from a constant dialog with his own roots. Lino’s creations have a dramatic effect that he calls Amazonic, coming out the first two decades of his life, when he lived among mango trees, the stands of the dockside of “Ver-o-Peso” market and the European-style homes planted in the middle of rainforest, in Belém, Pará. In 1971, he moved with his family to Fortaleza, Ceará, the land of green seas and many other well-defined colors, standing out brightly in the equatorial sunlight.

The convergence of the two influences resulted in the strong predominance of colors, which are used profusely, but confidently and sensibly. It also resulted in a bold play of patterns and textures based on untiring studies of materials. The list of fabrics he has used in clothing goes on and on. It includes not only the usual ones, like velvet, silk, cotton, raffia, satin, nylon, taffeta, zibelline, netting, brocade and crepe, but also other unexpected ones, like palm fibers, rubber, soft drink straws, rubber balls, twine and resin-coated paper.
It may sound strange, but a check of the results is amazing! Lino’s masterful style begins with a blend, exploring the contrasts.

It also includes surprising and original design, pure emotion of cutting and draping. And this is complemented by the perfectionism of technique, the finishing details and rigorous elaboration. “Clothing is not meant to stay on the hanger. The work of a designer comes to completion only in the relationship of the clothing with the body, and it should always be comfortable,’’ he states.
The technique, which he modestly says is “the most complicated part,’’ was acquired through experimentation. Lino is self-taught.
He was studying engineering when he made his first piece of clothing, a totally hand-embroidered top – a present for his girlfriend. Friends showered him with orders, which escalated rapidly, until he left school to open a small shop with his former girlfriend and now his wife and partner, Inez.
That happened in 1980. Since then, he has been going beyond the limits of women’s and men’s apparel to create hats, costume jewelry, shoes, hair ornaments, everything. Usually no more than 30 pieces are made of each model. Obviously, tailor – made items run much higher.
He decided to keep his atelier in Fortaleza. “It is a great privilege to be able to live in the Northeast when you want to develop your creativity. There, you are closer to your origins, have more time, and it’s easier to be in contact with people,’’ he says. But Lino alternates periods in the Northeast with frequent trips to São Paulo, where he has a store and can personally deal with clients.
In 1985, he was presented by Veja, Brazil’s major weekly magazine, as the biggest sensation of that year’s FENIT (National Textile Trade Show). In 1987, he earned a 10-minute documentary done by France’s FR3 TV network, shown later in several other countries.
In 1989, he was the only Brazilian designer invited to the World Fashion Trade Fair, in Osaka, Japan. He has also been invited to do costumes for the theater and for the film industry.
At the third show he held, at São Paulo Fashion Week, in July 1997, in São Paulo, Brazil, he received a standing ovation, after “baffling the audience,’’ in the words of critic Erika Palomino. “He made a patchwork of references and came up with good results, as only true creators can do,’’ added the journalist for the Folha de São Paulo. To her, the designer gave “proof of creative, passionate and jubilant fashion’’.
Glorinha Kalil, respected author of the bestseller Chic, stated in Veja that among current designers only Lino Villaventura “create his own fashion.’’ “He doesn’t follow trends, but invent his own colors and isn’t concerned about anyone else. He is absolutely in his creations. He can, and do, stand out where it counts: creativity.’’
Inside and outside of Brazil, few designers can afford the luxury of seeing their work classified as “art.’’ Lino Villaventura is one of those. He held an exhibit of Wearable Art in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the invitation of German curators. In July 1997, he participated in a collective exhibit of Brazilian modern art, which was organized by curator Janete Costa in Beirut, Lebanon.
By definition, fashion is ephemeral. But Lino Villaventura’s not. Even though each collection differs from previous ones, it remains the same: “One must never lose the thrill of innovating. The rest is mere emotion. My work is purely emotional. It is also fun for the hands (because it is impossible to resist the urge to feel the textures of the fabrics), for the eyes and the spirit.”

Adélia Borges, journalist