Project Runway

As the capital of Brazilian fashion, São Paulo has hosted twice-yearly runway shows since 1985. This season there were 48 shows from 45 designers. A few, such as Tufi Duek, have made a name for themselves around the world; others are still getting a toehold in the booming Brazilian style scene. Several designers this season really stood out.

Isabela Capeto showed simple pastel dresses that looked as fresh as paint; we loved the graphic prints and details, like this sheath with splashes of overlapping appliqués and a scallop-edge hem.

Oskar Metsavaht, who has designed the luxe beachwear label Osklen for two seasons now, drew inspiration from decades past for his brightly colored men's and women's collections: miniskirts and slim pants from the sixties, seventies-style slouchy knits, and oversize prints of palm leaves and coconuts that call to mind Hawaiian shirts of the eighties (but in a good way).

A swimsuit company from Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil, Agua de Coco was one of the hits of the week. The bikinis and sexy beach cover-ups were all done in prints inspired by Portuguese ceramics—lots of bold florals and toile-esque scenes of sandcastles and seagulls. The live sound track courtesy of Davi Moraes (the musician of the moment, who's been on tour with Caetano Veloso and Marisa Monte) was the best part of the show. And where else will you see runways strewn with pineapples and sand?