LFW: JEAN-PIERRE BRAGANZA F/W 2014

With Jean-Pierre Braganza, there are certain things one just expects from any collection. His silhouettes will closely follow the female form. His prints will be artistic and dramatic. His folds will be well draped and structured to wear well. Those elements are just given and for his fall/winter 2014 every last one is true.

Well, sort of.

If Braganza departs from his established aesthetic it is that his coats and jackets this season are a little larger and a bit more blocky. Shoulders are still softly contoured, but there’s more bulk than what we’re accustomed to seeing from this line. For the most part, the approach works. The exception would be an over-sized tuxedo tailored coat that just looks chunky. Beyond that, we see a lot of A lines, especially in dresses and skirts, and to some extent in tops. This is a wonderful look that plays very well.

As usual, the color palette skews dark, with deep maroons, dark purples, and a gorgeous blue jewel tone providing wonderful contrast to the black panels often done in leather. As the set goes on, there is an interesting shade of green for which I don’t have an apt description; it’s not bright enough for mint, it’s not muted enough for pea. The color works, though, and that’s really what matters.

Prints, for which Braganza is especially well known, are based on the work of artist Artemisia Gentileschi. The opening pieces are especially striking, almost cloud-like. When paired with an elongated six-sided texture on several pieces, the prints flow especially well. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of having faces looking back at me from the clothes one is wearing. The look is distracting, especially on women who don’t appreciate having someone stare at their torso. The prints are beautiful and creative, but may be socially unappealing.

Worth mentioning is the unique braid all of Braganza’s models wore, with opposite coloured extensions woven in from just behind each ear. That is, brunette models had grey extensions while blonde models had jet black extensions. I’m not sure what he might have done with a ginger-haired model.

All in all, what Braganza gives us is a beautifully dark, thoughtful collection that is appropriate for multiple occasions from daywear to formal. He brings some interest and excitement to his clothes without being overly flashy and dramatic. Very well done.

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