Back from vacation, back to real life. Le sigh. I have been back for more than a week but you know how it is to readjust (and the inevitable cold from flying). Portugal was beautiful and easy to get around. The people were all lovely and kindly spoke English. I speak passable tourist-level French and Spanish and figured Portuguese wouldn't be too much of a stretch but, boy, was I wrong! The spelling and grammar are similar, so I could read things well enough to get the gist, but the pronunciation is so different that I couldn't understand a word.
We visited Lisbon, Porto, and Guimaraes, a small city about an hour from Porto. Guimaraes was named European City of Culture for 2012, so it was a great year to visit. A lot of money had been poured into it and has a lot of interesting history. The button sculpture at the top is the Guimaraes 2012 logo, a G turned on its side so looks a bit like a heart.
I managed to encounter some interesting textile and fashion related stuff along the way. The fabric sculpture at leftwas in the Teleferico station in Guimaraes (the sky gondola that takes you to the top of Mt. Penha). The fabrics are arranged in the color of a rainbow, and there was also a flag garland. Unexpected little piece of art!
On the right is an azulejo, blue-painted tile, from the Palacio Nacional in Sintra. I loved the woman's hat!
I was amazed to encounter a fabric store on the main tourist drag of Rua Augusta in Lisbon. The window displays were gorgeous, with tonal fabrics draped artistically and inspiration photos showing how the fabrics can be used. I have to confess, though, that I didn't even go in the store. The fabrics seemed to start around 40 Euro/meter, and while I'm sure I could have found something gorgeous I just don't have a need for a luxurious and luxuriously expensive souvenir fabric.
In Lisbon the Museu do Design e da Moda (museum of design and fashion) is free to visit. It's in an old bank building, and the permanent exhibit downstairs is really cool. It's a chronological look at design and fashion over the past 100 years, with about 8 different "stations" as you walk in a circle through time.
There wasn't a whole lot of fashion--a lot more home and industrial design--but I really liked this coat from Dries van Noten.
The textile-related photos from my trip are here. You can see all the photos from my trip here, and view them as a slide show here. There are a few new wardrobe elements in them which I will write about soon!