Costume designer Paulo P. Lima began designing clothing in 1986 after receiving a fashion design certificate from SENAC, a vocational institution in São Paulo, Brazil. The certificate was the catalyst for creativity for Paulo to begin creating unique fashion design for local stores and private customers.
The inspiration for his new artistic outlet comes from the Brazilian Baroque art tradition of “Santos de Roca” from the 18th and 19th centuries. These were wooden figures dressed as saints. As articulated religious figures, they were beautifully dressed to be displayed in churches and carried during religious processions. Paulo fell in love with the idea of dressing vintage reproductions of Santos with a contemporary and secular look.
Paulo received his doctoral degree in theater and performance studies at the University of California, Los Angeles studying garments from the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, in June 2014. His dissertation, Candomblé and Its Living Garments, touches upon issues of “race,” gender and class in the use of dress for religious and secular performances in São Paulo and Salvador, Bahia.
From December 2014 to August 2015, Paulo’s work was featured in the exhibition: AfroBrasil: Art and Identities at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The exhibition displayed artwork of various Brazilian artists interested in the dialogue between Afro-Brazilian culture and art. Below you will find a selection of Paulo's work for the last 10 years.