OLGA NORONHA - Backstage


During last Lisbon Fashion Week I’ve been invited to the backstage of Olga Noronha show to snap some images, that would capture  moments from preparation to the actual show. As this was my first time at ModaLisboa, I was a bit stressed from all the silly reasons possible: mainly not being sure what kind of light they have in the backstage area and if I needed to take speedlight or maybe even off-camera flash - these kind of things.  I took my speedlight and it was just fine. 

The AW 16/17 Olga Noronha show was staged at the main ModaLisboa venue - Pátio da Galé and was first to show on Saturday. 

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I meet Olga, 25 year old jewellery designer, who walks me through the backstage area, introducing me to her family and friends, who came there to support her. Despite her ombre coloured hair, I cannot help, but notice her shoes: a pair of white sneakers, elevated on a platform, covered in pink artificial hair - one of her last season creations, when she was sponsored by Reebok. She slips neatly into designers role:  manoeuvring between hair, make-up and dressing areas, she keeps everyone busy, giving directions to her team and models. When it comes to her vision - she does not hesitate about any detail, rather gets down to the nub of what was her idea, making sure that everybody gets it. 


|| β  creatures 


Betta fish (specifically, males), was the main source of inspiration for AW 16/17 collection. Due to its extreme beauty and the surprise element of actually being aggressive species towards each other,  they do have something in common with Olga’s aesthetics - it is not always just pretty. Beautifully crafted, sculptural pieces imitate coral reefs and being rigid (and even “spiky”), gives an impression of some kind of body armour. Scintillating in various colours from generous amount of beads, lavishly decorated with pearls, gemstones, inlaid with mother of pearl, covered with gold leaf or even real fish skin - Olga Noronha has no limits when it comes to technique, she takes embellishments to the next level. Despite strong reflection of Betta attitude, she struck a dramatic note by adding a 3 metre long printed fabric tail to each model that walked the runway - referencing to the flowing fins of the fish.

When it comes to details like shoes - AW 16/17 collection was sponsored by Biblical Lust and even though I liked the mighty heels in white, I loved the ones in Gold - almost sure it was customised by Olga to match the outfit.

When the fashion week ends and you think of who delivered something different and who would never blend into the crowd of monotonous designers - Olga Noronha is definitely one of them. Being there in the backstage and seeing the “kitchen" of the fashion show is always interesting and having a tactile experience with pieces - it is priceless.

Wishing people not to be apathetic towards her work, whatever the reaction – Good or Bad, Olga welcomes doubts for they may lead to surprise.

PHOTOGRAPHY by Ieva Gedvygaite