Portmanteau Commentary: Lira Leirner the Portmanteau interviews Teresa de Almaida Cruz for Fashion Mavericks

One afternoon I came across a visionary, exploring fashion designer who studied physics and chemistry in order to understand the fiber and possibilities of fabric manipulation as well as the visual results wanting to be achieved. After a long winding back and forth via email over a couple of months, which turned out to be parallel to the laborious and time consuming process of menswear preparation and creation, we finally found time to arrange an interview.

I encountered a bubbly woman in touch with her male side who seemed in dire need to have someone listen to her. She had discussions and answers for every question thoroughly worked out and was eager to share them, which was great.

Listen to the interview in which we discuss what matters to Teresa when creating, the textile research project she has coming up in Oxford and of course, fashion and creating.

Her shoe designer and model were present as well - ignore the occasional "noise" in the background. Despite months of trying to meet up in advance and double confirming that same day in the morning and an hour before, Teresa decided to not mention that her friend, who is in charge of the studio keys, couldn't turn up so we were located in a cafe nearby. Teresa is still in the process of creating her collection, but here is a little preview of the fitting of the toille, showing you how the pattern of the fabric and garments will look like in the end. Once I receive more pictures I will upload them here, so stay tuned! I'm sure they'll be great.

After the interview I was, which is very unusual, asked about who I am myself and what I do. I guess that shows how relaxed the conversation was but I had also awoken the beast that is the "mother gene" once she discovered I'm a designer myself (I was really planning on not unveiling it), which prompted her to let me know that I shouldn't "give up, but work hard and you'll be happy!" Yes... I'm quite aware of that. Or even worse, having the tendency to attempting to be giving a compliment when they're actually insulting, I mean "lovingly criticizing", you such as by saying "You're OK for a beginner." which is the kind of attitude I only tolerate coming from my own mother - and that's because she's my mother! Anyway, luckily Teresa discovered this only after the interview and we managed to get some great information and discussions about her view on fashion and menswear in particular.