Whether Nuno Gama’s fall 2015 show at ModaLisboa carried much historical accuracy isn’t worth the enquiry. The collection – inspired by Portugal’s discovery era – had value enough in entertainment and aesthetics to warrant all creative liberties taken by its creator. What Gama put together was a cast of characters that included captains and crusaders, sailors and sea-monsters, even a cameo from famed one-eye-blind Portuguese poet Luís de Camões (overheard backstage: one girl, in some misguided epiphany, declaring to another girl that the model must be dressed as Jesus. At this point a friend of mine turned around and kindly clarified that Jesus did not, as a matter of fact, wear an eyepatch.)
If the backstage area before the show looked like a dress rehearsal for a Woodkid filmclip, filled as it was with flag-bearers, warriors and live birds of prey, it was not an unconscious coincidence on Gama’s part: the battle drums and hunting horns of the song Iron were soon to declare war upon the runway. The rest of the show progressed through a soundtrack of soulful Fado, the notes falling like tears of homesickness from these world-wearied souls, to an eventual hand-on-heart recital of the Portuguese national anthem. It was a long history boiled down to a short, sartorially eclectic retelling – but in Gama’s enthusiastic tribute, every cast member had his place.
At the gallery, a few snaps from backstage before Nuno Gama fall / winter 2015.