It started in the trunk. The trousseau, the promise of the future, the continuity in the fabric of tomorrow. THE WEDDING, BÉHEN's collection for next autumn, has in the first verses the feeling of departure and ends the poem on arrival. From the frayed ties when home is left behind, the story now dances to Tomar, where the campaign was photographed in the intertwining of emotion.
It was the traditional Tomar’s trays, carried by women or roses that are miracles — that are strength, that are city — the protagonists of a story that are several stories smelling of rosemary. And a campaign that reflects the time and the times that crossed and were born of a miracle. The roses, theirs and of all women.
The importance and tradition of giving. Fashion as an offering, which can contribute to others, for good. That could be Portugal. Miracle. Who wants to fight for the typical “calçada” floor, as we call it in Portuguese, for the Marias and for the seven skirts that are and smell of the sea, for the seven ages, the seven stories, the seven plus seven plus seven traditions, all generations.
A tray, with bread and flowers, that screams the love of those who made them. That started with Isabel and that today are Isabéis taking the fruit of time and hard work, who, against the law of gravity, travel kilometres in the city that is home to the “Tomar Trays Festival”. Is there more dedication than taking the world and balancing it on ourselves?
They said it was a miracle, and we, Portuguese, have known it almost since we learnt how to speak. She, Queen Elizabeth of Aragon, later a saint, here only a woman. He, King Denis of Portugal, green and sovereign. It was winter, it was day, running a cold thirteenth century, and a warm Isabel, running with her dresses in disarray, bread baskets for the poor, hidden in her lap. He didn't like it, he suspected, asked, what are you taking with you? She didn't like it, yearned, lied, it's roses, sir. But there are no roses in January, he says, he demanded, she must have closed her eyes, she must have taken a deep breath and let her hope fall onto the ground. Roses came from her. Silence came from him.
Antique fabrics that are history, turned into pieces, as if by magic, or by love, by the hands of women in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation and by the hands of women who carry several lives on their backs, secrets that only they know, and hiss between smiles. Secrets that are told in recycled glass beads and that today are neighbouring handles of doilies. Beads and tales from São Tomé and Príncipe, told by the women at Waste Recovery Cooperative.
It is no secret that it was in Tomar that BÉHEN found a home, like a rose that turns into bread and that is now shared with the world, and that tastes of Portugal. There are indeed flowers that feed and it is not a miracle that we can wear them.
A special thanks to Tomar Municipality, Local Council and Tomar Festivities Commission, who made the city of bread and flowers a home to BÉHEN. To Marias, Lurdes and Rosários for whom time does not pass and does not weigh, even with trays on their head.