This strong, full of
colour, exotic, iconic, and magic Collection is the JEF’s surprising proposal
for the Spring/Summer 2021 season, inspired by the natural and human landscape
of Goa, the former Portuguese State of India.
Goa offers us the
chimerical vision of the Paradise, the Terrestrial Eden, where we can find palm
trees, tropical beaches, birds, and Gods all together. Please come on board with
JEF on this real and dreamed journey, towards the farthest and most exotic destination
ÉDEN is the name of
this Collection, which is itself a journey made of powerful impressions, spiritual
symbols, and remnants of the Indo-Portuguese cultural and material heritage.
The ÉDEN Collection
offers us the multiple faces of the beauty of Goa, the vastness of the golden
sandy beaches, the liquid serenity of the countless water mirrors, the mystery
of the jungle, the Hinduism’s sacred rituals, the scent of the incense and
spices, the colours of the small houses and traditional markets, the greatness
of the churches, an open window toward the horizon, a melody played on a sitar,
a sari waving under the breeze.
This diversity of
atmospheres and landscapes, where sea, rivers, lagoons, and lush rainforests
combine, brought to the ÉDEN Collection several nuances of greens and blues
that contrast with hot colours, such as orange, brown, and beige, evoking
spices, the earthly ochre tones, and the garments of Hindu monks, which have
golden shades, between the yellow and the saffron, considered sacred by the
The journey to India, inherent
to this Collection, is, in the Western imagery, the great epic, the overcoming
of many storms and hazards. Nowadays, it appears as a spiritual, transformative
journey that drives our inner metamorphosis.
Goa was for centuries
the main connecting gateway between the West and the East, being the major
trading harbour of the region that coordinated the spice routes. Travelling through the roads of Goa cities, from
Margão to Panjim, through Vasco da Gama and Velha Goa (Old Goa), we come across
architectural relics of the Indo-Portuguese style, which inspired the geometry
of the shapes exhibited by the Collection, as well as in the particulars and
details of the articles.
Located in the centre
of Panjim, currently the largest city of Goa, the typical quarter of Fontainhas
retains features clearly influenced by the Portuguese: the narrow streets and lanes,
the alleys and staircases, the plates with street names that, like the local
trade, bear names that preserve the Lusophone identity, such as Hotel República
or Casa Lusitana. In this colourful hamlet, the traditional blue and white mosaics
covering most facades, the columns and arches, and the windows stand out, being
an icon of the construction innovations. The Hindus’ ancient houses of Goa had
no balconies or windows facing outwards, innovations introduced by the model of
the French window of the “casas de sobrado” (or townhouses).
The ÉDEN Collection mirrors
this variety of urban and natural landscapes, cultural heritages, and mystical
perceptions that build the intriguing diversity of Goa. Robust in its colours,
symbols, and influences, this Collection carries us from the astonishing
discovery of a Hindu temple to the silence of a church, from the blue tranquillity
of a tropical beach to the immersion into the jungle, from the traditional neighbourhoods
to the street markets, where the women vendors of fruits, vegetables, and fish seat
side by side.
The embossing that
lines the inside of the articles shows elements that take us back to these
vibrant, full of life environments and key symbols of the culture of India. From
the outdoor markets we get the sweet freshness of the pineapple. The elephant,
considered the "holder of the world", imposes itself by its symbolic
force. In India, it is worshiped as a sacred animal, and people believe that
the universe lies on its back. The elephant also symbolizes patience, wisdom,
longevity, prosperity, power, and benevolence. The lotus flower, the core
spiritual symbol in India, imprints on the articles of the ÉDEN Collection its
beauty and sense of purity and revival. Growing in muddy waters, it inspires a
path of purification and transcendence. In Asian religions, most deities are
depicted sitting on a lotus flower while meditating. The picture of the tropical
paradise of the beaches of Goa is represented by the palm trees and the
traditional small boats.
In the ÉDEN Collection,
embroideries are a distinct and recurrent technique that provides a bridge
between the icons of the Indian and the Portuguese culture, as they have a
historic rooting and strong tradition in a number of regions of Portugal. The
compass rose and the intertwined nautical cables are represented, symbolising the
intercultural union of the Lusophone peoples and a sense of good omen for the
journey towards the future.