Barbara Casasola is an interesting case. She hails from Brazil and launched her label there three seasons ago. She lives in London. As of this season, she presents her collection privately in Paris. And yet, in some ways, she occupies a planet of her own. It's hard to think of another young designer specializing in formalwear who possesses her nerve to be simple: There's nary a bead or sequin to be found in her Fall '12 collection, which is composed largely of elongated dresses of an almost monastic cleanness. That sounds unappealing, but it's emphatically not. A veteran of Lanvin and Cavalli, Casasola comes at her clothes with a confidence in construction and a refined sense of detail; here, she deployed a bare minimum of tricks to conjure a collection that was sophisticated, sexy, and sui generis.

The most obvious trick was her architectural use of color and fabric—one dress in black and ocher, for instance, made a big impact just by setting its two high-contrast colors against each other in a coolly geometric way that flattered the curves of the body. Elsewhere, she used strapping, cutouts, and sheer organza to similar graphic ends. Closer inspection of the clothes likewise revealed the intelligence of Casasola's method—her signature stapled seams let some light, and some skin, into silhouettes that could otherwise have been forbidding, and she made luxurious use of fabric, draping it generously and eschewing side seams. Overall, the collection's affect was regal with a sporty kick—a tone pretty much unique in dress-up clothes. Casasola has emerged with a fully formed point of view; the only question is what she chooses to do with it.