Brazilians love their meat. I got a taste of it on day three of my fantastic trip to Rio. That Sunday we were supposed to go to the top of Corcovado Hill, a trip organized by the Brazilian Textile Association (ABIT), very gracious hosts who also happen to do exemplary work promoting young designers and labels in all parts of the country. Alas, the visit was a bust because apparently that day everyone else decided to go see Christ as well, so the wait for the train that takes you up the mountain would have been at least two hours, a definite deal-breaker in that day’s sweltering heat. Our tour guide, a handsome native Brazilian Indian, was so visibly mortified as he apologized that any disappointment about wearing my Sunday’s best in vain was quickly forgotten.
Plus, to make up for the failed excursion, we were told the next stop would be an early lunch at Porcao, a well-known churrascaria, or Brazilian steakhouse, that can only be described as a carnivore’s delight and a vegan’s worst nightmare. When we arrived at Porcao, I thought they had brought us to at a better Sizzler’s—but clearly I had no idea. The way the place works, eager waiters attack you from left and right offering insane amounts of every imaginable type of meat—beef, lamb, even chicken liver—on giant skewers. The onslaught goes on for almost an hour, after which they realize you’re close to a protein-induced coma and they can stop. I wondered what my more militant non-meat-eating friends back home would do at a place like this. I, however, loved it—tasty and fun. As for my slightly perturbed, animal-loving conscience, I appeased it by telling myself that meat this good must come from very happy cows.
Show-wise, the day started on an interesting note with Mara Mac. Summing it up, if Lufthansa ever decides to follow in Sir Branson’s footsteps and go to space, Miss Mac should be their go-to designer. The looks, with their orange trimmings and copious fastenings, had the feel of unusually chic, and futuristic, flight attendants. Without a doubt, the day’s high point was the Coven show. There was velvet, what looked like Lurex, and patchwork, in an array of blues, green and grays, all combined to create a sophisticated collection that to me would hold its own on the runways of London or Milan. I loved the flashes of silver and even didn’t object to the camouflage, normally a no-no in my book, but more than acceptable when worked with this level of ingenuity.