Luma Guarçoni Louzada’s final collection is An Ode to the Gambiarra, a creative methodology common in Brasil and throughout much of the Global South, resulting from socioeconomic conditions in countries with colonial histories. ‘I explore how non-western practices of design that take place in the margins of capitalism can be seen as counter-narratives to the Anglo+Eurocentric hegemony in the design field. I wanted to present these practices as forms of resistance to capitalist imposition and contemporary neocolonial thought and also a fundamental tool in the process of decoloniality’ Guarçoni Louzada explains.
Made entirely using traditional Brazillian artisanal techniques and textiles, the collection presents a fusion of traditional craft and luxury. Natural latex processed by native communities in Pará; organic cotton, grown, hand spun, naturally dyed and manually woven by women in Minas Gerais; clay beads made by traditional pot makers in Espirito Santo; fish scales hand cut by the women from a fishing colony in Rio Grande do Sul; traditional leatherwork by a saddle maker in Pernambuco and much more. 'An Ode to the Gambiarra' hopes to recontextualize marginalized creative practices and materials by exploring them in the space of high luxury and maybe consequently present a new vision for what fashion could be; an inclusive decolonial tool that works for social progress.
‘I would love to keep working with traditional artisans in Brazil and elsewhere to build a bridge between them and high end luxury brands,’ says Guarçoni Louzada. ‘I want to explore the potential the inclusion of traditional artisanal techniques in the space of high luxury has to reimagine the production chain as a potential tool to create real social and economic change for these communities.’