BRASÍLIA 50 ANOS | LIFE FILE :: »Bold Line and Color in a New Capital« ::: Fashion Spread @ The Alvorada Palace, 1960

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Dress in front of President’s Palace matches color of Brazil’s flag

Standing on balcony of President’s Palace, Mária Peters, a Yugoslav living in Rio, wears dress of crinkly cotton made by Bangú, a top Brazilian fabric house and exporter. The dress, designed by Tina Leer, has easy bubble skirt ($50).

Wearing a boldly striped dress that echoes Brazil’s modern art (B. H. Wrage, $50), Marisa Woodward, a native Brazilian, stands in gallery of palace in front of a tapestry by Emilano Di Cavalcanti, one of country’s leading painters.

Bold Line and Color in a New Capital

The starkly handsome building on the preceding page and the brightly dressed girl standing below it represent two new milestones for Brazil. The building is the President’s Palace in the new capital, Brasília, which is being built from the ground up 600 miles from the coast in Brazil’s rugged interior. Next month it becomes the new seat of government.

The evening dress which dramatically combines the colors of the Brazilian flag proclaims Brazil’s emergence of a new capital in the world of fashion. A fast-growing number of U.S. designers — among them Donald Brooks, who made this dress — are finding inspiration in Brazil’s natural beauties and works of art. Brazil’s indigenous styles are reflected in local fabrics which are just now available in the U.S. It produces unusual jewelry, such as the free-form designs of native stones (left and below) by Burle Marx, one of Brazil’s leading artists. And the ladies of Brazil have a distinctive way of dressing that combines local verve with international high style.

On these pages Brazil-inspired clothes from the U.S. spring and summer collections are shown in Brazil’s three capitals: Brasília, where the fashions pictured reflect the strong lines and contemporary patterns of the buildings of the daring new city; Salvador, the historic first capital; and Rio, the present capital.

– “Brazilian Style,” LIFE, 7 March 1960




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The buildings in this spread from LIFE still look fresh, modern, and Space-Age-y.

The fashions — “Brazil-inspired clothes from the U.S.” 1960 spring and summer collections — have not fared so well.

It would be another five years before Pierre Cardin would introduce his “Space Age” look to an unsuspecting world and architecture and fashion were fully aligned for a brief moment in history.

But that’s story told in a previous post:

LIFE: Brazilian Style


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