Lucas Nascimento is a knitwear whiz. The Brazilian-born, London-based designer has built his brand on woven fabrics fashioned into the most remarkable tailored ensembles. This season, however, Nascimento moved out of his comfort zone, working primarily with silks and leathers. The results were mixed. “I wanted it to look light,” the designer said of his choice to move away from his tried-and-true textiles. “I wanted to have a breeze of air going through the garments.” He more or less achieved that—windbreakers with bunched, almost ruffled collars fluttered down the runway, along with silk half-dresses (one side looked like a fluid column, the other was virtually nonexistent and hung over a little tube bra). But the windbreakers felt a touch old. Same goes for Nascimento’s boxier dresses—they seemed dated and unflattering, and the chartreuse, royal blue, and robin’s-egg palette didn’t help. A floor-length leather vest in taupe was interesting enough, but most of Nascimento’s hides were too stiff, or hit the model in the wrong place.
Still, there were some instances when Nascimento’s experiments in fabrication served him well. A pair of black and white silk and knitted jacquard “half gowns” covered in speckled prints of women—which were created by Nascimento’s friend artist Nina Fowler—were intriguing and pretty. And that brings us to the main takeaway from this outing: Unsurprisingly, Nascimento’s most impressive pieces were—or at least incorporated—knits. The citrus column that came second in the lineup was absolutely invigorating. And, shown with a matching knee-length skirt, a textural white sweater with fabric draped across one arm was crisp, elegant, and versatile. “I’ll always have my staple knits that I really love, but I also want to try new things,” Nascimento said backstage. It’s admirable that he’s attempting to broaden his horizons, but sometimes it’s good to play to your strengths.