I was speaking to my Brazilian friends about the first piece I wrote for Bossa Brazil Magazine (while thrusting a copy – open at the page of my fashion article – under their noses). The question they all asked was did I mention any of the established Brazilian Designers working in London? No was my answer – because I was highlighting British designers in the article.
I hadn’t really considered that there would be many Brazilian luxury fashion designers working in London – extremely uninformed on my part, I would soon discover… I figured that a Brazilian designer would find more inspiration in beautiful Brazil, not dreary old London town (I love you London really I do!). I didn’t tell my friends that though but what I did do was go away and do some research. All of a sudden I am a little bit obsessed with some of the luxury designers hailing from Brazil who are now based in London.
If I gave myself free rein with the credit cards Barbara Casasola could potentially bankrupt me for one! I am in love with her simple, feminine, elegant yet sexy luxury women’s wear. Hailing from the South of Brazil, she studied fashion in Milan and was hired by Roberto Cavalli as assistant designer for the women’s wear main line in Florence. She then worked in Paris consulting for several major fashion labels before moving to London in 2013 and debuting at London Fashion week that September. Producing two collections a year, she designs in her London studio and has everything manufactured in Italy. Her collections are available in luxury London boutiques and department stores, including Harvey Nichols, Matches and Joseph. You know you’re doing well when royalty wear your designs – The Duchess of Cambridge was recently photographed at an art gala wearing a beautiful off-the-shoulder slinky cream coloured dress.
If shoes are your thing (let’s face facts – shoes are most woman’s thing) you need to take a look at shoe designer Michele Hartmann. Her designs have a touch of the avant-garde about them – in a very wearable way – combining the luxury and exclusivity of European design with some Brazilian va va voom! Michele produces a range of boutique shoes, custom designs and bridal footwear. The designer herself says “I think I was born predestined to work with footwear. When my mother was pregnant with me, she was not sure
what would be a good name for me. It was then my older sister who saw a shoe that she had feel in love with on a window display, with the brand Michele. So that was how my name came up and why not to say, my connection to the world of footwear, with the art of combining style and good taste in an accessory so important to our lives”. Michelle’s designs are available directly from her website.
Finally we all need to dream and right now I am dreaming about owning some Fernando Jorge Jewellery… The designer works with traditional, locally sourced gemstones and minerals but interprets them in a modern, elegant way. Inspired by his native Brazil his pieces have an organic sensuality and fluidity about them, tasteful, demure and ultra-modern. Fernando studied in São Paulo, where he worked for ten years for various Brazilian jewellery labels. He then moved to London where he studied for an MA in Jewellery design at Central St. Martins. His first collection was launched in 2010 and was received with critical acclaim – afterwards the designer established his brand in the UK. His collections are available in exclusive stores, including Harrods, Alex Eagle and Boutique 1.