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Helen Rödel is positively masterful at knitwear. The crocheted dresses made under her signature Rödel Latin America line are carefully constructed by hand, with no help or finishes done by a sewing machine whatsoever. This obvious dedication to quality that is only surpassed by the design of the dresses themselves is what makes her one of the most promising underground designers in Brazil I've seen so far this year.

Hailing from busy Porto Alegre in the south but actually born in the countryside, the pretty, sweet-mannered designer—who also models her own pieces on the brand's site—blurs the lines between urban and rural environments, making her collection ideal for a woman who easily flits between the two. Actually, this is today's very definition of a Brazilian woman, but it's a concept translated into apparel that has potential to jump borders.

Her 2008/2009 summer collection "Astro" channels the sun for energy in the light baby-doll dresses and inventive knit patterns. Her husband-slash-Rödel LA collaborator shot the vintage-looking photos, which add to the forever-classic aesthetic of the clothes (check the old-school poster for her previous collection).

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The label's looking to be carried in stores outside of Brazil, but in the meantime, you can buy directly from Rödel LA through its online store or stop by B. Luxo's boutique in São Paulo.

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