I kicked off day five hangover-free and headed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to Alexandre Herchcovitch’s third outing of the week, menswear, which must have attracted every artfully cute boy in the greater metropolitan area, making for plenty of eye candy, both on and off the runway. This season inspiration came from Ingmar Bergman’s classic, The Seventh Seal—you know, the one with Death playing chess with a medieval knight. The result was less existential than it sounds, filtered through an unmistakable Latin sensibility, i.e. Dia de los Muertos, voodoo medicine men, Jack the Pumpkin King and a splash of Beetlejuice. It was a potent concoction. The models’ heads were uniformly shaved and painted like skulls, making them look like sexy Grim Reapers, adding to the overall teen-goth feel. Outerwear was key, with some wonderful variations on anoraks and rain jackets that experimented with transparency and tulle overlays. There were also some intriguing jacket and capelet combinations that looked perfect for haunting the local cemetery. And of course, skull accessories galore.
The day’s second highlight, Neon, catapulted us from the shadows to an explosion of color. It must be said that more than any other line, Neon embodies the spirit of Brazil. It was cha cha, effusive, vibrant, chic—sort of like Carmen Miranda reimagined by YSL during his safari period. Crowd-pleasers included an amazing toucan evening dress (which I would wear exactly as shown on the runway), gaucho pants and caftans. Oh, the caftans! Enough to make you consider building a pool so you have somewhere to wear them. At one point, the models canoodled and toyed with a giant lion head sculpture on the runway, posing about like it was a boozy matinee of the Lion King on a cruise ship. Perfection.
Later that evening, we headed off to Bar Secreto for the Herchcovitch after-party, which again provided an array of cute artsy boys and colorful drag queens. You gotta love Brazil. The crowd was whipped into a frenzy by resident voguers, who fanned the flames of debauchery with their razor-sharp movements. At that moment it dawned on me that this is, perhaps, the only true universal language.