There is an intuitive and otherworldly quality to David Ferreira’s designs that spans styles, from innovative and bold, to sophisticated and poised. You know that sensation when you see something you really need? Ferreira has bottled that and poured it into the concepts and creation of his ultra feminine designs. On paper, feathery frocks and spherical skirts may sound insane but in the flesh they become entirely plausible, necessary even.
David Ferreira SS16
David Ferreira is a relatively fresh lamb to the fashion slaughter, first making waves with his SS15 collection, with which he graduated with his BA from Westminster. Think sunshine yellow and innovative dimensions and you might have some idea as to why the collection made such an impact. By AW16, Ferreira was bestowed with Fashion Scout’s Merit Award and the winning collection – Opulent Child – had the accomplished confidence of a designer with many more years on the clock. If you saw it, well done you may have witnessed a fashion ‘moment.’
David Ferreira SS16
“Trust your instincts and do what you believe in,” was the most important lesson Ferreira learned during his time at Westminster, something that comes through in the consistency and vibrancy of the designs. There is a sense that he is a native fit for fashion – just ask him why he does it, “Because I Love it! It comes naturally to me I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.”Sometimes new designers fall down because they try too hard – creativity is lost in the process of trying to force it through the hoop of quick success – but so far there are no signs that will happen here. Instead, there’s an intuitive understanding of what women need from fashion – “beauty, glamour, luxury, belonging…but above all they need pieces that match their personality, that make them feel extraordinary. They need tools to use fashion as a way of expressing themselves.”
As you may have gathered from the images of both of the shows so far, wearability is not at the top of Ferreira’s list. “My main focus is in creating something exiting, new and that I love; the wearability of it comes after when I turn the ideas into pieces. If it is possible to make designs more wearable I will do it, as long it doesn’t compromise the idea or the message I want to get across.” And it is all about the new and innovative for this designer – taking the traditional and using it in an unexpected way, turning the classic, contemporary. “Every time I create something it must bring something new,”he says, “otherwise it would be pointless to do it.” A big part of this is the holy trinity of structure, volume and shape, which David believes, “bring so much to the pieces, taking them to an all new level and making it possible to create something amazing.” There is certainly an awe inspiring quality to the more audacious of his designs but Ferreira has still made them wearable, whether he wanted to or not.
Looking at these creations, it’s hard to see how they even come about but when it comes to the process, like many designers, Ferreira starts with research and then ends up creating a fictional Muse. “The Choice of fabrics and textures comes more naturally after I have the basis of the women, shapes and inspiration. It is an experimentation until I find the right material and textures but is all part of the process to be able to really create my vision.” For AW16 the muse appeared in the form of a #squad (or #fam) of the likes of Marie Antoinette, Scarlett O’Hara, the Greece Pink Ladies and Gossip Girl characters – indulgent, spoiled and fabulous to the last. It may come as no surprise that this is a designer who loves colour. However, the bright shades that could come to characterise his aesthetic don’t provide the starting point for the designs – instead, his baseline is a more neutral shade from which strong and bold colours such as yellow, pink and red can be experimented with.
It’s almost impossible to predict what a designer like David Ferreira will do next, particularly after just two collections. He says his immediate plans include continuing to show in London and Lisbon, further honing and communicating his vision. He also has Paris within his sights and that city is probably a natural home for a label with an eccentric vein and a rebellious streak. Ferreira is very focused on projecting his vision and delivering what he believes are the most important gifts that fashion has to offer the modern world – “Dream, Fantasy and Drama.” Given his ability to build beautiful hybrid garments that appeal to both logic and sensibility, we think his ascendancy could be stellar.