There are lace dresses and then there’s Martha Medeiros lace dresses. The Brazilian native mastered the art of lace-making at the tender age of eight. “I started when I was eight, doing dresses for my dolls; when I was 15, I made my first real dress, and I have not stopped since,” said the charismatic designer at her intimate presentation in New York. What sets them apart, is the rare laces she uses and the labor intensive techniques — a wedding gown can take more than 1,000 hours to make.
In the Sertão region of Northeast Brazil, kind of like the Brazilian outback, lace-making is the local craft. Medeiros, through her institute supports almost 500 lace-makers, providing jobs, medical care, education and more recently even access to water. “It is very important to me to support these women, to help them so that these art does not die,” she said.
From the looks of it, she is keeping them busy. Medeiros’ business is expanding; she recently opened her first U.S. store and her celebrity following is solid: Beyoncé, Sofía Vergara, Chelsea Clinton and Ana Beatriz Barros have all commissioned pieces from her.
For resort, the designer drew from the desert landscape of her hometown, rendering her intricate confections in an earthy palette of greens, terracotta, beiges and white. Silhouette-wise, she showed a generous variety from ample pastoral cuts to body conscious off the shoulder. “There is something for everyone — and no pattern is like the other — each one is a one of a kind done entirely by hand,” she explained.
See More From the 2018 Resort Collections:
Sandy Liang Resort 2018: The overall tone was noticeably quieter, more relaxed, but retained that playful dose of subversion to keep things modern.
Brock Collection Resort 2018: Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock brought fairytale romance into modern reality.
Pamella Roland Resort 2018: Pamella Roland’s starting point for her newest collection took place in her own backyard.
Redemption Resort 2018: The inspiration for the collection is “aristocratic grunge.”
Rodebjer Resort 2018: The designer offered up a lot of layers to transition from party to street, strict to mildly wild.
Sonia Rykiel Resort 2018: The Sonia Rykiel girl took a trip to California and returned to Paris refreshed.