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Pedro Lourenco Womenswear S/S11

The Brazilian child prodigy is coming of age with his sophomore Paris collection

There will come a point when Pedro Lourenco's starry background story (as a Brazilian child prodigy designer who put on shows at the age of 8) will start to fade and all we see is his work ringing loud and clear. With his second collection shown in Paris, perhaps that tale won't wear out yet but certainly his sophomore collection gave more food for thought and better yet, made us intrigued to see what he will turn out next season. The very loose starting point of this season's female icon - Josephine Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon - gave way to empire line dresses that were constructed in a way that would probably not have had any place in the early 19th century.

With Lourenco's use of 21st century fabrics that included a fine silk tulle, a ball bearing netting that moved around like a beaded curtain and plenty of leather that was mainly used to sculpt backs with giant pleats. As opposed to last season's strictly beige and black affair, unexpected tones of royal blue, pistachio green and chartreuse yellow (on a raw silk that was perhaps a Napeleonic reference) cropped up to add to the dominance of white and black. Graphic lines across the body were drawn with the use of leather panelled onto the fine tulle, appear to be floating on a naked body. Lourenco mentioned the word illusion and there were plenty of those with half leather kilts fronting a longer skirt, elements of perfecto leather jackets melded into more dramatic silhouettes and a general pattern of cutting and contrasting.

Dazed Digital: There were so many more elements in this collection - tell us what was your starting point?
Pedro Lourenco
: I wanted it to have this identity of hardness, boldness and graphicism. But I wanted to mix all of this with the lightness and softness of Empress Josephine (Napoleon's wife). I wanted to mix this delicate side of these empire line dresses, all of this with all the strong pieces like the perfecto, moto jackets and baseball clothes. I wanted to create optical illusions.

DD: Like the leather panels on the thin tulle - it almost looked invisble!
Pedro Lourenco:
It's a very thin tulle developed in Italy that holds the leather. The idea is that it's totally invisible, to make the panelling look like it's floating over the body.

DD: So would you say you were trying to do contemporary versions of historical costumes?
Pedro Lourenco:
I don't like to be too literal - I like to understand what is the concept. I think I've got the empire line and the long silhouette and also the lightness of the dresses but I didn't want to go too deep into costume territory. I wanted to do something for today. We live in 2010 afterall

DD: Do you feel you're on your way to establishing your aesthetic?
Pedro Lourenco:
I feel I'm bringing a lot from last season, keeping my identity but introducing new things for sure.