LUIS BUCHINHO: An Honest Conversation Is Needed
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October 10, 2017
By Marcellous L. Jones
Photos Courtesy of Luis Buchinho
Paris, France – Several years ago this writer confronted the top Portuguese designer Luis Buichinho with very needed truth for him to hear. At that time we bumped into each other on a beautiful Sunday morning in a restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. Now face to face, the subject of what I thought of his work came up. And as the world has become intimately aware, I am unapologetically honest when it comes to my work and the integrity that fuels the words that I write on a designer’s collection or those that I speak during my former television show.
I did Luis Buchinho a favor. That is to say I told him what he needed to hear about his work instead of what he may have liked to hear. I admitted to him that he greatly confuses me at time. In that I admitted that he has two gears. In each gear his collections are structurally and technically sound. However, then came the difficult part. I told him that on an artistic level his work always tend to be either “just whatever and not visually interesting” or simply FANTASTIC. There are worlds of differences between these to levels. However, those two at the time were the gears to which he had habituated the world to expect from him.
I’ve said it a thousand times over the years. The hardest part of being a good friend to someone is accepting the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HONEST that comes along with the territory of being a friend. As I have the ear of the international buyers and other respected media to consider, mine is the responsibility of reporting the truth even when it comes to designers for whom I actually have a personal liking.
Well here we are today in 2016. And since that perhaps “unpleasant” conversation, Luis Buchinho has been luckily stuck in the gear in which his work is AESTHETICALLY FANTASTIC. This brings this writer to further conclusions. But first, let us comment on his new collection that he presented in Paris for Spring/Summer 2017.
This new opus in his fine career is truly some of his best work yet. It is energetic, fun and sexy ! He achieves this not only with his insistence upon short skirts, dresses, long splits and plunging necklines. His work also comes to these results due to the composition of his colors and to their employment. The blocking and geometries add to the impression of natural kinetic energy found in each piece.
After posting the finale of Luis Buchinho ‘s excellent collection to our Instagram account, one of the first comments came from a former, long-time fashion colleague. In those comments, he his disgust with the fact that in spite of Luis Buchinho ‘s great talents, he remains a real star only in his native Portugal. For him this designer should already be a well-known and respected household name across Europe and the planet. This leads this writer to one last conclusion…
In order for Luis Buchinho to take that final step into real stardom, he is going to have to bring some real change into his organization. Without elaborating further on what that change should be (in order to avoid offending others whom I also like), I’ll just say that others in the past have made one specific change in their teams, and the results have been nearly instant. And in that I cite the case of Isabel Marant.
Years ago in spite of being commercially successful and in spite of having a devoted following, Isabel Marant was not a household name. However once she made a very important change in her organization, she became a worldwide reference in international fashion and in an exponentially rapid manner. And if Luis Buchinho wants that for himself, he is going to have to “look beyond what others want and choose for” himself. However, I urge him to do a little research to learn exactly what change Isabel Marant made and then to make the decision that is right for him.