RIO DE JANEIRO — The Girl from Ipanema had a Parisian touch Thursday, as Maria Bonita Extra fielded a winter 2012 collection of bourgeois cocktail dresses that look as if they'd be more at home in a Haussmanian apartment than on the sands of Copacabana.
In silk chemisier dresses and cocktail numbers with constructed skirts that stood out through the hips, the models looked like something out of a 1970-era film set in one of Paris' beaux quartiers.
The ultra-abbreviated hemlines, however, gave the clothes a youthful freshness: In the tres bourgeois collection's sole shout out to Brazil, some of the dresses were so short they looked like swimwear.
Guests were still scrambling for their seats when the lights went down and a model appeared, toting a plastic clutch kitted out with glowing lights. But that was the sole gimmick in the collection, one of the strongest yet in the first three days of Rio's five-day fashion extravaganza.
Bianca Marques' debut on the Rio calendar opened with some fine footwork by a ballerina, who pirouetted at the top of the runway between two gilded candlesticks to a soundtrack of Space Age blips. The delicate display set the tone for the collection of frilly, romantic, girly dresses. Everything glowed a soft pink, like the inside of a seashell, and some of the looks were covered in pearls.