By Liz Griffiths [email protected]
Liz Griffiths recently moved to the Algarve, after finishing her degree in Journalism and Editorial Design in the UK. She joined the Algarve Resident to assist the editorial team. Her main passions are fashion, travel and vinho verde!
Paul Felix is a fashion magpie. With his eye for fashion and detail, the first collection at Pica-Pica Boutique is an eclectic mix of beautiful handmade pieces of clothing and accessories.
Paul is the mastermind behind Pica-Pica Boutique, an exclusive clothing boutique at his studio in Calvário, near Lagoa, aimed at women of all ages living in the Algarve. The forthcoming winter collection reflects on the climate and the laidback lifestyle found in southern Portugal.
“I wanted all the pieces to be wearable for the Algarve climate. Lots of jersey knit is featured as it is so versatile and hangs so well,” Paul said.
The majority of clothing collections come from female designers living in Cape Town which include jersey knit designer Cari Stephenson, Maya Prass who is known for her bold prints, Sway, Colleen Eitzen, Nucleus and Doreen Southwood. East Village is a silk line company based in London that has pieces embroidered by women from villages in Indonesia and Vietnam.
So why has Cape Town been such an influence to Paul for the first collection?
“The climate and the culture of Cape Town are very similar to the Algarve, they have a laid back attitude to dressing,” Paul said. “None of the designers featured in the collection sell their work anywhere else in Portugal, so this is entirely exclusive to the Algarve.”
The ethnic and easy fluent designs that are featured in the boutique’s forthcoming winter collection reflect their Cape Town heritage. Among the vast collection are flowing jersey knits which can be easily layered for the cooler evenings, beautifully printed skirts and dresses along with beautiful handmade leather accessories.
“I would describe the collection as being classic with a twist,” Paul said.
All of the designers featured are women, which was a choice made by Paul.
“I think women designers offer simple, easy designs that are a bit more considered. They tend to know what women want to wear whereas male designers tend to tap into a fantasy.”
He added: “I want this collection to be suitable for women of all ages; all the designs are adaptable, we have a black jersey dress that looks just as good on a 60-year-old as it does on a 25-year-old.”
All of the accessories, including leather handmade belts by designer Missibaba and handbags by Rarity, have all been selected by Paul to complement the clothing in the collection.
“The bags and belts will mostly be olive greens, browns and blacks for the winter period which means they are versatile with any outfit,” Paul said. “However, there are a few boldly coloured leather bags and belts that give a glimpse to the summer collections.”
Handmade jewellery by London based designer Annette Warham will also be featured in the collection with many pieces being one offs.
Although Paul collaborates with the designers on his own ideas for pieces in the collection, he eventually wants to launch his own line of women’s wear.
Paul has been obsessed by fashion from a young age and trained as a fashion designer at the acclaimed St Martins School of Art & Design in London (where Stella McCartney, John Galliano and Matthew Williamson also studied).
He has previously worked as a fashion designer for various high street companies including Joseph, Jigsaw and C&A but opening a boutique is something he has always wanted to do.
Paul moved to the Algarve seven years ago and now lives in Estombar, near Lagoa. He started working with various clients in the Algarve making one-off made to measure pieces.
“I started up making pieces for a few clients and had been doing so up until the beginning of the year when I decided it was time to establish a more solid business.”
Making ‘one-off’ pieces turned out not to be a very lucrative business.
“I think people have been spoilt by the ‘throw away’ fashion culture and tend not to understand or value the work that goes into made to measure clothing.”
Paul added: “I understand that economically it may not be the best time to start a project like this but I think that what we are offering is different and affordable enough to attract a wide clientele.”
Pica-Pica Boutique will be launching at this year’s Better Living in Portugal (BLiP) exhibition on September 26 and 27.
To contact Paul for more information about Pica-Pica Boutique email him at: [email protected]