The final countdown

Designers / 22 November, 2016

When we talk about a new breed of Portuguese fashion designers, Patrick de Pádua’s name immediately pops up. Since his entry into ModaLisboa’s “Sangue Novo” Catwalk in 2014, the young creator hasn’t stopped surprising with irreverent reinterpretations of male sportswear basics.

Now, only a few days before the presentation of his next collection, time is running low and tension is in the air. Even so, Patrick de Pádua still invites us into the atelier where he’s preparing the 27 outfits, greeting us with the warm authenticity that characterises both his personality and his striking aesthetic language.

Time is running out. Patrick is running with it. While giving the hand-made finishing touches to each garment, he shares the various steps of his path with us, all the while telling us his ambitious vision for the brand’s future. «Music is my main source of inspiration», he tells us a few minutes into the conversation. «All my collections are structured around a song with a lot of meaning to me”. A few moments after that, he plays us the song which will accompany his future show. This will be the second time the designer presents his creations at ModaLisboa’s “Lab”, sharing this space with other emerging designers on the Portuguese fashion scene, such as David Ferreira, Catarina Oliveira and Olga Noronha.

His first time at this show was last October, when he presented his Spring-Summer collection for 2017. With the song ‘Filhos’ by Portuguese artist SP DEVILLE playing in the background, his “Fado” collection merged the daring beats and rhymes of the new Portuguese hip-hop scene with the nostalgic notes of the Portuguese guitar. In oversized, free-flowing silhouettes, dashes of pink and transparency are highlighted against diverse tones and shades of black. Already synonymous with the designer’s garments, we can also find technical fabrics opposing more traditional materials and elements. Completing the outfits, as a clear reference to Portuguese culture, “Fado” singer scarfs pop up, reinvented by the creator.

A renewed connection to the shoe industry shows up in the fashion designer’s casual and sporty catwalk footwear, developed in partnership with the Portuguese brand Dkode. The designs were produced in Felgueiras, by the Sozé group, one of the biggest shoe makers in Portugal. Patrick de Pádua highlights that all materials used in his collection are from Portuguese origin. «I like LMA very much, a company that produces distinguished technical fabrics in the north of Portugal», he shares. «I’ve also worked with other fabric and shoe-makers, I really believe we have great industries and manufacturing here in Portugal, and we are perfectionists when it comes to production», he states.

Patrick de Pádua describes his workflow as «very personal and intuitive». We can, for a fact, define his homonymous brand almost entirely by his laid-back, urban style. «My language is more street-like, what sets my work apart is my strong connection to streetwear», he comments. But that’s not all. If we look closely at his path as a whole, we can quickly realise there is a rebellious, melancholic feel that unites all of his collections. Reminiscent of moments of silence and introspection. Of the incessant search for something that might complete us. Of the expectations and promises transformed into frustration and loss. It seems as if Patrick de Pádua finds the tools to express his hidden side in fashion.

“Rebellion” is also the word the fashion designer uses to describe the moment when, at only 12 years old, he moved from Vaduz, Liechtenstein, to Portugal. «At the time, I went with my family to the Algarve. After spending my high school years there, I came to Lisbon to study Fashion Design at Modatex», he explains. «At the end of the course, I came upon an opportunity to go to Porto for my internship, where I was responsible for designing men’s collections for a year. At the end of the internship, I came back to Lisbon», he continues. «I believe I can say Lisbon is my city, I wouldn’t trade Portugal for any other place». His return to the city also marked his entrance to the “Sangue Novo” Catwalk, kicking off the development of his brand. Other Portuguese creators he highlights as influences are Hugo Costa, Alexandra Moura, Duarte, David Catalán and Estelita Mendonça.

Recently, a new path through Modatex, the Lisbon School of Design (LSD) and ETIC marked his return to education. This time it is to teach aspiring fashion designers. It is in this context that we can usually find him when he’s not focused on the development of his collection. With his work increasingly recognised both at home and abroad, the designer is already stacking up prizes, such as the Kaltblut Award, given by the Fashionclach Festival in Maastricht. Before saying goodbye, Patrick de Pádua tells us that broadening his collection to the female clientele, taking his brand global, and opening his own shop are his plans for the near future.

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