marques’almeida celebrated the women of the world for spring/summer 18
Last season, a very pregnant Marta Marques told i-D that autumn/winter 17 was all about celebratory dressing, individualism and diversity. With Nina Simone on repeat in the studio, her and Paulo Almeida had dreamed up a collection of special occasion looks for every day, in all manner of prints and colour clashes.
Fast forward to the morning of their spring/summer 18 show, and what a difference six months makes! The designers now have their very own M'A girl in the form of little Maria, and it's Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colours that they're playing over and over in attempt to get her to sleep. Meanwhile, their designs have naturally evolved into something that we're tempted to say are their best yet. The LVMH prize winning duo have been thinking a lot about the expectations put on women; societal pressure to have a successful career, raise a family, look great, be powerful (but not too powerful) and confident (but not too confident that it should undermine our male counterparts), we join them to say fuck that! We'll do what we want and we'll do it our own way.
Their M'A girls, it seems, are no longer girls but women. Though just as fun and eclectic as previous seasons, looks were sexy and grown up; a real party of a collection covered in stripes, feathers, low rise cargo pants, sequins, chinoiserie, and cowboy boots adorned in flames. A pink silk dress covered in feathers was paired with thigh high tank girl boots, metallic breastplates were worn over loose summer dresses, and a giant floor-length red blazer reigned supreme. Of 44 looks, 35 of them were worn by their members of their M'A girl crew.
As trains rumbled overhead, the girls stomped down what might have been the longest runway of all time, over the now defunct train tracks off Brick Lane. With sunlight streaming in through the huge paneless windows in the concrete, the sound of clicking heels echoed through the epic space, audible over a beautiful soundtrack consisting of And the Winner Is… from the Little Miss Sunshine OST, followed by Dolly's Coat of Many Colours for the finale. The girls were walking to work, to meet their friend for a beer, to collect their children from nursery, to collect their award for that book they wrote / that song they sung / that brilliant collection they just designed. The girls were you and me and everyone we know, lead by little miss sunshine herself, angelic new face Penelope Haro with her crown of golden curls.
"I think we're just going round and round this Americana reference," Marta told me later. "After having a baby, I kept thinking about this weird idea of womanhood and how everyone struggles with the same thing, from one end of the country to the other. Then I thought of a single mum of three in middle America somewhere, and that's where the Americana came from." As for the soundtrack? " Little Miss Sunshine is Paulo's favourite film," Marta smiles. "I'm glad we got it in there, because we love that movie." Remind us to put in a formal request for Super Freak next season.