Wednesday 30 September 2015

Jean-Pierre Braganza: London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016

Jazz music inspired Braganza’s improvisational approach to designing his new collection: “I never liked jazz when I was growing up,” he said backstage. “But now, the fact that it’s so structured and yet so chaotic really fascinates me.” 

This spring/summer 2016 season, the British Fashion Council has moved London Fashion Week from its traditional home at Somerset House to the more edgy and urban surroundings of Brewer Street in Soho. One of the stand-out shows at the new venue was Jean-Pierre Braganza's vivid and fluid collection, Jeanne-Marie Cilento reports

Brilliant, painterly colours for SS16
THE small streets radiating out from Soho's Brewer Street were crowded with people waiting impatiently to go into shows at the start of London Fashion Week. The guests for Jean Pierre Braganza's new collection showed their invitations to the burly but pleasant English security men and practically raced up the steep walkway into the packed exhibition space. Filled with a fashion crowd eager and leaning forward on the long white benches lining the catwalk, a huge bank of photographers jostled for positions at one end ~ getting ready for the show to start.
The music, loud and drumming, resounded in the white, brightly lit space designed by David Collins. Willowy pale models came out on to the catwalk in striking silhouettes, mixing black and white with brilliant dashes of colour on high-waisted trousers, trench-coats, and jumpsuits with prints inspired by the Bauhaus.
 Long, sinous evening dresses in deep blue
The collection called Whiplash, named after the Miles Teller film, included shapes that were both classic and retro with long bias cut dresses and sharp suits with clever contemporary construction on display. The most striking were the full length evening dresses – midnight blue, figure-hugging, show-stoppers that would capture the attention of a room. Braganza reveals and conceals enough for the imagination with deep plunge V neck dresses in silky satin. 

Breaking away from last season’s monochromes, Braganza did venture out with a more vibrant and artistic colour palette. Although born in London, Braganza was raised in Canada but returned to study and graduate from Central Saint Martins. His work with Roland Mouret before setting up his own label, inspires his beautifully cut long dresses. 

A Bauhaus aesthetic for the prints
This season Braganza mixed asymmetric shapes and forms with a cut-out shoulder or a half-train dress plus deconstructed frocks that were half blazer, half satin shift. His colours included sunflower yellow, Cobalt blue, poppy red and he used materials such as satin, feathers, sequins, organza, and silk for the floaty dresses that matched with a multi-coloured, strappy stiletto.

The white and black jackets and trousers that opened the show in cool monochrome tones gradually became more and more brilliantly hued creating a crescendo of pattern and colour by the end ~ but still within a disciplined palette of red, white and dark blues. When the designer came out to take his bow, he appeared with a closely shaven crew cut and a dark minimalist ensemble ~ much less exhuberant than his new collection.

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