Monday, 25 February 2013

Food and fashion at London gathering of Brazilian fashionistas

Katrina Judd, Thassia Naves, Sirlene Di Santolo
Sara Barr, Nura Khan, Patricia Bonaldi
Nura Khan, Roxy Ribeiro, Luiza Barcelos

The group of women taking over Russian restaurant Mari Vanna last Tuesday evening was unmistakably Brazilian. There was just something about those long glossy manes, impeccable grooming and excitable (rather loud) chatter that gave the game away. Oh, and they were constantly on their phones, too, taking photos of each other, sharing websites and blogs, admiring Instagram pages, texting friends. Brazilians can't get enough of social media.

The dinner was organized by Katrina Judd, founder of agency In+Addition, and director Luisa Vautier Franco, who looks after Brazilian fashion designer Patricia Bonaldi - our host for the evening - in the UK.
I sat next to Patricia, a sweet, shy (but photo-loving) 29 year-old whose occasionwear collection is now in its second season in Harrods.
I thought Patricia's current spring 13 collection (above) was beautiful. The femininity of the clothes was distinctively Brazilian, but there was a delicacy to how each piece was put together that I haven't seen before. The jewels are used with subtlety, the figure-hugging silhouettes are smart and chic, while the fabrics and colours - and maybe this was influenced by the food theme of the photoshoot - were just delicious. I was really impressed.
It was also great to meet other Brazilian women working in the fashion industry, both in the UK and in Brazil. I thought I’d introduce you to a few…
Sirlene Di Santolo, the very stylish head buyer for Joseph; the beautiful Nura Khan, junior fashion editor at The Sunday Times Style; Sara “Sarinha Carioca” Barr, who works in marketing at Harrods and founder of Rio blog I Heart Rio; Thassia Naves, who runs an incredibly successful blog about fashion and beauty and has almost 40,000 followers on Twitter; Luiza Barcelos, owner of the eponymous shoe boutique in Brazil; and Roxy Ribeiro from Vogue Brasil.
A pleasure to meet them all. 

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