Amongst the crooked houses and cobbled pathways that nestle the heart of Lisbon, lives a handcrafted fairytale. Two young tailors spin stories from trails of ethereal fabric, pinned onto the bodices of earthy-wood figurines. From their fingertips emerge rouged ruffles and satin sashes dripping in cobwebs of lace. And with that, extraordinary sillouhettes emerge from the ashes of childhood fantasies.
The atmosphere in the atelier is thick with the eccentric mystery of João Branco and Luís Sanchéz. Their boyish cheekiness combined with an air of darkened romance is somewhat reminiscent of a young Tim Burton, their talent thrusting the era of the Brothers Grimm right into the 21st Century. Collections weave in and out, between childhood memories and gaunt adulthood, romantic fluidity and gothic obscurity. In short, the Storytailors brand floats somewhere between reality and our wildest, most enchanting dreams.
Perhaps what is so captivating about the designs are that they challenge contemporary waves of fashion, whilst retaining their relevance to today's audience. Whilst more modern, futuristic fashion houses set out to defy conventional shapes, Storytailors restores the allure of the traditional female figure with a twist. In fact, their signature piece is a fantastical corset, a garment which sparked a chain of reactionary styles throughout most of the 20th century. But when swaddled in the floaty fabrics of haute couture, it is difficult to see anything more than a perfect portrait of delicate empowerment.
Through the ready-to-wear brand Nårke, the duo place pockets of their wild imagination into every day garments. The volumes are softened into one-of-a-kind pieces that burrow themselves nicely into a working wardrobe. Their fitted white shirt with a ruff-inspired collar is my personal favourite, and the most the compelling argument for wearing my heart on my sleeve.