During London Fashion Week, the design duo behind Marques'Almeida debuted issue 2 of their publication See-Through and while the video had us feeling hopeful (the magazine looks at positive change in the industry), we couldn’t wait to see more of the creative construction and effortlessly cool looks we’ve come to love from the brand. Yesterday, we got just that and much more as Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida went off-schedule with a runway show to showcase their SS22 collection.

Returning to Porto, the couple’s home city in Portugal, and staying for the duration of the pandemic brought about “mixed feelings”. It had once been a place to escape from and as we know, that flee from home led the pair to Central Saint Martins here in London, where they continue to leave their mark. But with the help of Marta’s sister Sofia (who is also their Brand Producer), they toured an “up and coming” area of Campanha and “met a bunch of designers and artists whose work we admired, and we were fascinated about how they worked and lived and supported each other.” This fascination spurred new avenues for collaborative thinking and thus, the “Roots Porto” show was created.

We are perhaps living in a time of unprecedented collaboration in the fashion industry; besides the countless pairing up of names on sneaker drops and hypebeast items, there's Raf Simons x Miuccia Prada at Prada, Sacai x Jean Paul Gaultier’s meeting of minds for Haute Couture AW21 and most recently, the launch of the Gucci Vault, an online space created to discover new designers. However, Marques'Almeida since its inception has always been about community. From the M'A girls to their inclusive casting, Marta and Paulo continue to commit to their M'A Environmental and Social manifesto through empowering and honouring local communities. So, it makes perfect sense that the pair invited 6 young designers to show with them in Porto. “We wanted to give them a voice and to shine a light on their talent and on the work that they are doing,” Marta explains. The 6 brands: Marcelo Almiscarado, Rebeca Letras, TILO, MANA.TERRA, Nani Campos and ARIEV showed alongside the M'A designs and delivered a feast for the eyes in form of giant chains from Rebeca, graphic embroidery from TILO, Nani’s eclectic jewellery made from deadstock and more. 

Marques'Almeida's collection presented juxtaposition at its finest. Colours were vibrant and spanned the colours of the rainbow whilst carrying an edge seen in the slashes and oversized, boxy shirting. Their signature grungy, tie dye looks made an appearance in slouchy t-shirts and form-fitting turtle-neck tops, and were achieved through sustainable means like digital tie dye and natural waste dyeing. No matter the fit, the looks carried ease. “We want it to always be effortless but realise that’s to do with the wearer and that’s why our M’A casting and our M’A people are so important to us too, as they give meaning to these clothes and these different styles that we mix together,” says Marta. It’s those differences in styling that celebrates individuality. “It's always about juxtaposing different identities of people.”

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