Shout About London and Vogue by admin on March 9, 2018

While everyone else on London’s big-show Monday was taking people to national galleries, palaces, and embassies, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida had their audience dodge puddles along a graffiti-strewn tunnel to a cavernous concrete hellhole beneath the old Eurostar terminal. Keeping it real, and staying close to the opinions of their extensive girlfriend group, is the Marques’Almeida m.o.: But this, nevertheless, would rank as a large-scale show in any city. Something about the way this Portuguese couple is progressing proves how good their antennae are: They design for actual characters, who they’ve made relationships with via Instagram, and have them walk in their shows. Which is exactly why the subject of Christian Lacroix bubbled up under those railway arches, just as it—and the panoply of late-’80s haute couture—has all over the season.

“We’ve been following this girl called Zenobia, because of the brilliant way she dresses,” said Marques in a preview. “Her mother, Vanessa, used to model for Christian Lacroix.” Before long, Vanessa was offering to bring her archive of mementos up to London from her house in the country for the designers to have a look at the pouf skirts, bodices, and Renaissance-influenced opulence therein.

It was a vast stroke of luck for the young designers. To their credit, the results were far from literal. They cut the Lacroix references into their favorite streetwear, among the bold stripes and utilitywear: here, a Victoriana leg-of-mutton sleeve; there, a brocade corset with a crenellated hem; and there—and all over—mini pouf skirts and taffeta dresses inflated in the same spirit. If it resembled anything, it was probably closest to the way the Junior Gaultier line used to look in the ’80s. That’s a good thing: Those sorts of labels are being chased down by young people everywhere. What Marques’Almeida offers is spot-on taste-wise, in sync with the big themes du jour, creatively crowd-sourced from young women, and accessibly priced. Lots to like.

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