It's gotten tougher to be a new designer in London. The fashion week calendar here is so jam-packed, it's virtually impossible to muscle your way into one of the official time slots unless you have the strong support of the local industry behind you. To this reviewer's knowledge, this season there was only one designer showing on the official London fashion week schedule for the very first time, and that designer was Barbara Casasola. Though her name may be unfamiliar, Casasola is no novice: Since launching her label in 2011, the Brazilian-born designer has shown her collections in São Paulo and by appointment in Paris, and she was a finalist for last year's Who Is on Next? award, co-sponsored by Vogue Italia. It wasn't entirely a surprise to find that Casasola's front row included some of fashion's heavy hitters, chief among them Net-a-Porter founder and BFC chairman Natalie Massenet.

This collection did not disappoint. Casasola brings an authentic refinement to her work; she's incapable of producing a look that seems trashy. She's also a careful and inventive technician, and her clothes are always finessed down to the nth detail. Where she's struggled, at times, is with incorporating a sense of ease and buoyancy; the signature Casasola look is very controlled. That was true of the ensembles in this latest collection, but the leap here was the atmosphere of lightness. Casasola had considered her clothes, but not to the point where they came off mannered; meanwhile, she mitigated the potential frigidity of the collection's sculptural and geometric aspects by working with sheer, gossamer organzas and fluid shapes. After the show, Casasola said she was bouncing off the work of the late Brazilian sculptor Lygia Clark this season, and these soigné clothes did seem to capture both the discipline and the sensuality of Clark's constructivist forms. Nicely done.