Meet the Brazilian Instagram Star Inspiring Marni and Marc Jacobs

Pin It
moonriverchacha Matheus Lomonte Pedro Macedo Marni Marc Jaco
@moonriverchachaPhotography by Pedro Macedo

AnOther gets to know Matheus Lomonte AKA @moonriverchacha, who is charming the fashion world with his off-beat sense of dress

Three years ago, Matheus Lomonte was a relatively unknown fashion student. But his Instagram account, @moonriverchacha, attracted the attention of Marni’s Francesco Risso, and Lomonte soon found himself on the moodboard for the brand’s S/S18 collection. Today, the 30-year-old creative also counts Marc Jacobs among his followers (and fans) – and, with a quick scroll through his feed which showcases an off-beat sense of dress through artfully composed selfies and portraits, it’s not difficult to see why the designers are looking to him for inspiration. “I always liked taking pictures of myself and Instagram allows me to show off my style,” Lomonte tells AnOther over email. “I see my account as a scrapbook. I’ve made really good friends there, too,” he continues, citing @momoochoo, @michelle_elie, and, of course, @themarcjacobs as some of the accounts that he most admires.

Growing up in Minas Gerais, Brazil between the city and his family farm, Lomonte spent his youth playing with dolls and chickens, and riding horses. “Since I was a child, being connected to nature has been important to me,” he explains. After graduating high school, Lomonte began studying law, but found that it stifled him and quickly dropped out. “I have so many bad memories of it. I was under the influence of my family, living in a closet,” he says. “So I stopped abruptly and started my fashion studies.” But the structure of fashion school didn’t quite suit his temperament either. “It was at a really boring college. It took me more years than usual to graduate because it was so frustrating. I interrupted the process a lot of times ... I didn’t fit in. I believe I have learned more from movies, books, the art world, and life in general, than from a classroom.”

Certainly, this eclectic education shines through in Lomonte’s posts to @moonriverchacha, and in the way he puts clothes together. “I find it very difficult to catalogue anything about myself. I don’t like to be categorised as anything too specific and I put on my looks very instinctively,” he says. However, to attempt to put it into words, his aesthetic consists of thick curly dark hair and bushy brows, offset with what could be described as an ode to the Kinderwhore look of the 1990s. Think: polka dot Peter Pan collars; frumpy hand-knitted cardigans in pastel shades; pussybow blouses; plastic hair slides; secretarial eyewear; patent Mary Jane shoes and frilly white socks. He also polishes up his looks through a touch of Italian-inspired glamour, with pieces that might have been worn by Monica Vitti as the lead in a Michelangelo Antonioni film.

Lomonte’s style icons happen to be Italian, too, with Anna Piaggi and Miuccia Prada pinned to the top of his moodboard. “I just love Miu Miu,” he says. “My girly side screams with joy every season.” Lomonte also sources most of his clothes and jewellery from his mother’s wardrobe and works creatively with his boyfriend of 12 years, Pedro Macedo, who makes pieces for him to wear. “I met Pedro through some mutual friends,” he explains. “I gave him his first gay kiss and we have been together ever since. We have a really good connection. We share the same interests and that makes it super easy to work together. We are always creating, making plans, and projects together. He also takes a lot of my pictures as well as making clothes for me. I’m so blessed to have him by my side.” Their latest work together can be seen illustrating this article: a series of portraits shot by Macedo, with Lomonte posing on a roadside, either clutching a fur coat, wearing a sock as a glove, or with bare feet that have been painted silver.

Social media has long been recognised as an artistic medium in itself, and during a global lockdown, its role as a vital tool for self-expression has become even more apparent. This rings particularly true for Lomonte, as Instagram has afforded him a place to keep dressing up – and being seen – in his beautifully bizarre ensembles. “In actual fact, I’m spending most of my time in pyjamas,” he says. “I really miss getting dressed up to go out.” Lomonte’s plans for the future are as uncertain as anyone’s right now – but he’s staying positive. “’I’m trying to live a day by day. It’s less frustrating that way. But of course I still have dreams to work with more people that I admire and who inspire me.”