Structure and Sensuality

IN THE fashion world where style reigns supreme above all else, Ricardo Preto just got the exceptional vision and the aesthetics
for the fast-paced cosmopolitan lifestyle that is 21st century. The fashion designer hailing from Lisbon, Portugal brought in his exclusive Spring-Summer 2017 Collection to the local fashion scene at Rustan’s. With his extensive background in the field of architecture, Ricardo Preto made a sudden turn to the fashion industry, and looking back from today, he did not regret taking the detour. His eye for details and structure was what made the Ricardo Preto label the most sought collaboration among brands like Levi’s, Energie, and Nike.

This is the second time the internationally acclaimed designer came to Cebu to showcase his two lines for the Spring-Summer Collection. The Ricardo Preto Exclusive for Rustan’s is for the sophisticated working people who need to look elegant in so little time. The designer delivers sharp, straightforward silhouettes of softer fabrics to create a structured flow of lines. It features an elegant palette dominated by whites, blues, blacks, and earth tones.

The U by Ricardo Preto, on the other hand, is what he calls the 7-to-7 casual look apt for the beauty of daily life. It has relaxed styles with soft fabrics and peaceful lines that are accentuated by a fun rangeof blues, oranges, pinks, and greens. While the brand’s core businessis Women’s ready-to-wear, bags and clothes, it also offers Men’s wear and accessories.

This was my first meet-and-greet with Ricardo Preto himself who, I can say, was full of wit and exuberant vitality, and was generous with his time to speak his mind on almost about everything.

Portuguese fashion designer Ricardo Preto

On how he begins with a piece

“I start all the time from beauty and harmony. I start every time with the question, what is the next step for my brand? How can I go another step forward? What I do here in Cebu is to meet my customers.

I’m not designing for a small target. I’m designing for everybody. I don’t follow the movement. I do exactly what’s in my mind; what’s in my DNA. It’s not like this season it’s going to be all yellow and then go to websites and research and what’s for the next season. No, I don’t do that. Everything is by my mind and it’s the tips my customers give me that help me grow.

On the Ricardo Preto brand

“The Ricardo Preto is a neo-traditional brand. It comes from tradition; a neo-tradition. It comes from classic shapes but a step forward. Most of my clients are working women; women with family, women who travel. That’s why I’m very dedicated to creating a collection for everybody. No specific target. I do tailor stuff for a person exclusively but I dedicate 10 percent only of my time for that. I believe in prêt-à-porter— ready to wear for anybody. The thing about my drawings and styles and designs is that mother and daughter can buy at the same place. It’s only
a question of how to style it. You know a mother feels very young when she dresses the same brand as with the daughter. The daughter feels very happy that her mother looks so fresh. What I believe in the 21st century is that nobody wants to be old. I know this because I’m so close to my customers.”

On his humble beginnings

“As a child, I always wanted to be a fashion designer, and in the last year of my study as an architect, I realized that I made the biggest mistake. You were young. You were with your parents. You want to be a fashion designer but it’s not easy to get there. It was safer to be an architect than to be a fashion designer.”

On architecture and the art of fashion

“My clothes reflect architecture. Everything starts from a geometric point. My trousers start from triangle, square, rectangle. If you put
all my pieces on the floor, you can see architecture in their shapes and dimensions. So it was very important to do architecture for me. I’m passing this to my clothes.”

On designing for the Philippine market

“Internet has changed our world — globalization. You have the same collection of Gucci here as you have in Paris or in Rome. The only thing that I don’t present here are heavy coats because of the weather.

All fabrics are all light, fluid and fresh. I’m not a close-minded man. My world is an open world. These flowers appear in my designs
because I see them here in the Philippines. How beautiful are all these greens. I put green here in my corner because this is amazing.”

On women

“One thing is constant. Every woman wants to be very pretty and comfortable. I can say a phrase from a guy named Müller. He’s a writer.
He said: Women dress to attract love. And that makes sense to me. ”

Soft-tailored separates from Ricardo Preto’s Spring Summer 2017 collection available
in Rustan’s. Also featured are Men’s
wear and accessories.

On his impression toward Cebuanas

“I’m here in Cebu to understand what Cebuanas want. And it was a big surprise. You know, the Cebuanas are very pretty ones. She knows how to take care of herself. She knows makeup. She likes to dress well from head to toe.”

On his partnership with Rustan’s

“It’s amazing. Rustan’s is a company with a big tradition in fashion. That’s why I accept coming here. They have this long tradition in fashion. They know what they are doing. They know which brand is nice for them. That’s why the brands you see are the best brands in the world. They are here. So I’m very happy to be selected and be here too.”

On meeting his customers around the globe:

“I love movement. You cannot imagine how I love to move. The cotton stuff is from Portugal. The rest of the collections are produced in two parts of Italy. Even in my country, I feel so spoiled by everybody. Even here in Philippines, I already have my customers. I arrived in Makati and I
already stayed three to four days only with my customers.”

On his stay in Cebu

“I can tell you that I like the beach. And the lechon. But I cannot eat that every day because I’m a fashion designer! But I like it. Cebu is pretty. The weather is summer all the time.”

On tips

I learn from my internship in Italian fashion designer. He said to me, “Ricardo, for skirts, you can put some ropes with the fabrics because women wear everything on a skirt. But for you to do pants for women, it must be very well done. If not, they don’t put on.

TAGS: Aesthetics, architecture, collection, Nike, structure
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