Paving the way with Lucas Nascimento

Fashion Rio has long been associated with beachwear, but the event’s organizers are now reformatting it to also serve as a prominent platform for new designers. Of the fresh names at the recent shows, Lucas Nascimento’s buzz-worthy debut was a particular knockout, indicating that this strategy might be the right direction for Rio’s fashion scene.

Based in London since 2001, Nascimento studied fashion design at London College of Fashion—where he specialized in knitwear—before working as an assistant for Sid Bryan, who develops masterful knitwear for the likes of Prada and Alexander McQueen. Nascimento has already created unforgettable chunky knits for 2nd Floor and sculptural knitted pieces for Amapô, both of which presented their collections during São Paulo Fashion Week.

In Rio, however, Nascimento debuted his label by playing a different tune. Instead of maximized or tri-dimensional shapes, the designer opted for a slim, almost minimalist silhouette in tune with ’90s Jill Sander creations. The looks were embellished with a dense use of colors and a bold contrast of textures that united corrugated or slightly furry knits with varnished leather details (seen mostly on coat sleeves). Particular emphasis was placed on metallic fabrics and juxtapositions, especially on the combination of pencil shaped skirts and purposely longer underskirts in contrasting colors. And to top it all off, the models wore golden nipples attached to their tops—a naughty detail that eased up the otherwise serious silhouette. Immense positive feedback form the local media and an unusual avalanche of fashion twitters about the show marked a promising swell of buzz that will help bring Nascimiento’s brand to prominence. The added spotlight also reaffirms the organizer’s recent move—perhaps fresh new names are just what Rio needs after all.

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