LUIS BUCHINHO AND THE MOOD OF THE MOMENT


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Luis Buchinho Print AW13

 

With over 20 years experience at the head of his eponymous label, Luis Buchinho is a veteran of womenswear with a vested interested in the future of fashion.

 

“I teach at the same school where I took my fashion course, it’s called Modatex these days but it is the same system. I teach a design project where the students build a small collection, from five to eight looks, which they show later. I just make the students feel comfortable about their ideas and identity, then we start to build a brand (if they want to). I teach them the necessary steps in making an image stronger, in making a fashion show.”

 

“My teaching technique is very much based on identity; I try to make the most of what the students feel, what they like, what they are willing to do to convey a point of view in fashion. It really is their own thing, they try to make the most original collections possible. It may be in a graphic way, or with clever drapery, some have a valuable marketing idea, each student is a case and they are treated very differently from each other.”

 

“I learn so much from my students. The best part of teaching is that you are in contact with much younger people fascinated with things I’ve been through already. My current students are very much into the nineties, I was in the nineties, I did it, so you see a very different point of view from my own. It helps me to look at things from a fresh, young perspective.”

 

“The type of woman that buys Luis Buchinho is very affirmative, very sure of what she wants to wear for the season. She is not a fashion victim at all, she’s someone who cares more about timeless pieces, she doesn’t buy things that are just good for the season, she wants something that’s really valuable. The Luis Buchinho consumer is very intelligent, she chooses according to what she has in her wardrobe and what she can coordinate an item with, she buys in a very intelligent way.”

 

“My influences very much depend on what surrounds me. For example, I once did a collection that was based on the revolution that took place in Portugal in the 70s. I gathered my memories as a child from the things that I remember – the political boards in my school, the spirit of the 70s…Last winter I based a collection on calçada (Portuguese cobble stone art). The way we build the pavements in the street like a mosaic, all the prints have that feeling and flavour. My influences are usually something that is around me or emotional, something that’s speaking to me at the moment. Usually it translates in a very graphical way, with slim and slick silhouettes, it’s a collection built for daily life.”

 

“We have a very small team of only five people. We do all the patterning in the office, it is a multi-functional space, the store is at the front and the atelier is at the back. We do the design process and then we send everything to be built by seamstresses around the city.”

 

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“I am an 80s child so I listen to everything that is a bit pop, electro, synthetic – it’s my thing. I like going to exhibitions to see what other minds are talking about, besides the fashion world. I think it is important for us to step away a bit from the clothing aspect and try to see what the graphic designers are doing, the artists, it depends on the mood of the moment.“

 

“We take the whole month of August off, I go to the beach all day, I just try to relax, eat well and think of nothing else. In Portugal it is a month that the whole textile industry is closed, so it is a good month to be out of the office. When we start again in September we are fresh and we can begin with a relaxed mind. Over Christmas I go to my parent’s house which is in a small town in the south of Portugal. I just relax and stay with the family. I’ve lived in Porto since I was 16, I go there every once in a while, it’s a good opportunity to be with everyone.”

 

Interview: Fran Mullin