Ronaldo Fraga: breaking rules

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Ronaldo Fraga: breaking rules

Ronaldo Fraga, one of the most irreverent and surprising Brazilian fashion designers. He uses fashion as a platform to draw attention to important and controversial issues usually overlooked by the press.

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From casting children and elderly in his Fall/Winter 2009 catwalk to refugees in his Spring/Summer 2017 show till his latest São Paulo Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017 collection called El Dia Que Me Quieras: Uma Música, Um Vestido, Muitas Estórias (The Day When You Love Me: One song, one dress, many stories) were he only used transgender models.

The theme of this SPFW edition,  was trans – for transformation, transition and transgression

The show started with Fraga himself talking about the collection: the idea of using São Pedro’s Theatre as the location; the collection named after a store’s name popular among transgenders in the 1970’s; the major prejudice against them and a cruel reality – Brazil the country with highest rates of transgender and transvestites murder in the world.

Although all styles shown looked different one another, the block used was only one. Fraga used appliqués, prints and cuts to differentiate them all. Prints reassembled drawings very much in tune with Fraga’s concept of “clothes for paper dolls”.

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The models did not know who they were modelling for till the day before the show. Fraga made sure to cast not only professional models but also teachers, prostitutes, hairdressers – average people not used to this attention in their everyday lives. This was their opportunity to show their identities, to be the stars of the show, to make people aware of their cababilities and battles.

Fraga: “The fashion industry needs to establish dialogues through other issues. My collection is about love, resistance, is about fashion as a tool for freedom. You can imagine what is like to be a soul that does not fit the body is in because it was born denying it. What is going to release it is the first skirt, the first lipstick, the first sandal. That is what justifies this universe, the magic of fashion and its existence.”

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At the end of the show, all the models came back wearing transparent black lingerie and danced in pairs the song “Milord” from Edith Piaf. Definitely a big ending to a big show. Nothing less expected from Ronaldo Fraga who’s always there to tell a story beyond clothing, making people believe that fashion has the power to change people’s lives.

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Ronaldo Fraga: breaking rules


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Written by Manuela Rio Tinto

A postgraduate certificate student in fashion and lifestyle journalism at London College of Fashion with a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design. Brazilian, passionate about writing and reading, and also a scuba diver in her free time.

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