Huis Clos – which loosely translates as ‘behind closed doors’ – is a designer label named after Jean-Paul Sartre's eponymous play. Created in the '70s by sociologist Clô Orozco, the clothes are defined by their sensual shapes, plunging necklines and soft, translucent fabrics, with geometric cuts and voluminous sleeves showing through in the Summer 2012 collection.
At this, São Paulo's principal Huis Clos store (there's also a large outlet in Barra Funda), decor is minimalist, as are the collections – with a carefully curated selection hanging on the racks, and a select few pieces in the window display. Head up the small staircase to marvel at the even-more-exclusive area at the back, devoted to haute couture gowns.
A 'hidden' doorway inside the store takes you directly through to Huis Clos's sister label, Maria Garcia, next door. The Maria Garcia collection has more of a simple, comfortable focus, while still maintaining some of the Huis Clos signature style. Old photographs hung inside wardrobes, and wooden clothes racks lend the store something af an oldy-worldy girl's bedroom feel.