Installation View

Fashion and Art in Dialogue

Issues of race, gender, and class, as well as history and health, economic and social sustainability, are at the heart of the third season of the MASP Renner fashion program. This edition produced 22 unique looks, which will be on display at the museum in 2024.

Artist Randolpho Lamonier and designer Vicenta Perrotta use materials, particularly textiles, that are found or have already been used by other people to create banners and clothing. By using materials that already have a story and that were collected throughout the development of the look, this duo discusses the collective and political dimensions of artistic practice, as well as the preservation of memory. The use of secondhand materials also raises discussions about consumption, reuse, and other ecological issues.

Artist No Martins and designer Angela Brito build from their personal stories to discuss history, the division of power, and racial systems in society. Martins produces paintings and objects that discuss the experiences of young Black people in today’s world, while Brito creates tailored pieces characterized by asymmetry, a recurring aspect in Cape Verdean clothing. Based on elements from the game of chess, such as the geometrical synthesis of figures and alternating black and white pieces, these looks also arise from a series of African references, including Egyptian deities and adornments of the Akan people of Ghana. For this team, the reference to chess involves graphic elements, such as the colors and shapes translated into the clothes, as well as metaphors of social hierarchies, power struggles, and territorial occupation strategies.

One of the touchpoints between artist Lidia Lisbôa and designer Fernanda Yamamoto is the production of organic shapes characterized by different textures resulting from intense manual manipulation of their materials. A Noiva was inspired by the series of sculptures Cupinzeiros (“Termite Mounds”), Cicatrizes (“Scars”), and Tetas que Deram de Mamar ao Mundo (“Teats that Nursed the World”) by Lisbôa, in which terracotta, buttons and fabrics have been manipulated to create textures and organic shapes that reference the female body and nature.

Dresses made to be worn by two women are a recurring element in the work of artist Panmela Castro, which raise discussions about gender performance and relationships of sisterhood and love. Vestido siamês was produced by the artist in partnership with designer Walério Araújo, who brings conceptual aspects to Castro’s work, such as her interest in the notions of sorority and “dorority” (a term coined by the writer Vilma Piedade to describe the pain shared by women of color).

Criola produces murals that depict Black figures, particularly Black women, filled with patterns from urban culture and Afro-Brazilian religions, while Walério Araújo stresses the meticulous construction of tailored clothing with vibrant colors and patterns, contrasting fine materials like silk and satin with more unusual ones, like plastic or straw. Together they produced three looks made primarily from Kanekalon (synthetic hair) and beads. The use of these materials is associated with hair care practices in Black communities, such as braiding and extensions or adornments. Together and interconnected, their three pieces evoke the idea of collectivity in a kind of Black female trinity.

Artist Larissa de Souza’s and designer Diego Gama’s works are inspired by their own family histories. De Souza creates narrative paintings about the daily lives of Black and migrant families in a pastel color palette, using synthetic figures. Gama is inspired by his predecessors’ performance as basketball players. Uniforme de Domingo was patterned on manual looms using clotheslines and consists of a T-shirt and shorts with an opening on the side, a reference to the world of basketball, as well vertical stripes that reference team uniforms. The clotheslines relate back to the domestic work of laundry; embroidery on the chest and on back are an allusion to team coats of arms, as well as being a recurring technique in Souza’s paintings.

Artist Aline Bispo and designer Flavia Aranha are interested in medicinal and symbolic plants whose uses are passed down orally in Brazilian culture. Bispo works with digital illustration and oil painting, while Aranha uses organic materials and natural pigmentation to create her clothes.