London Fashion Week: Jean-Pierre Braganza

February 18, 2011

By Christine Cooper

Fashion week fever has hit London, meaning models can be spotted walking on the streets as much as the catwalks, and obviously four-inch heels are a necessity.

A few red numbers pop up in Braganza's collection.

As one of only four Canadian designers showcasing their collection at the London Fashion Week, Jean-Pierre Braganza opened my eyes to the talent our snow-covered country has produced, even though he now calls London his home.

Fur and black shades are strong trends in this line.

While I was waiting impatiently for the show to start, the crowd was also getting restless, since the show was slightly behind schedule.

Yet as soon as the models started to appear on the catwalk, the crowd went silent, the cameras didn’t stop flashing and the journalists scribbled intensely in their notebooks. Braganza must have been happy.

Featuring a colour palette of mostly black and charcoal, pops of red – both in the clothes and in the models’ make-up – kept the mood from being too sombre.

The impossibly thin models wore their hair slicked back, with extra volume and a bit of a curl in a high ponytail. The hair tied in nicely to the Braganza woman persona: someone who could possibly kick your ass, but look good doing it.

Being known for his constructed tailoring and science fiction influence, Braganza offered up a feminine and wearable collection, instead of stepping into the realm of costumes.

Artfully constructed jackets and body-skimming dresses all had one thing in common: Braganza’s eye for detail. Whether it was studs, feathers or oversized elbow patches – these details made every piece a statement instead of just another grey blazer.

The highlights for me were leather dresses with strategically placed cutouts on the back, and a sweater with sheer stripes. These are the items that will be a bang-on trend for autumn/winter 2011.

Models walk down the catwalk at the end of the show.

Stripes, which to be honest will never go out of style, were updated to fit the aesthetic of the collection, leaving behind their sailor connotations and embracing a new harder edge.

I think Braganza himself described his collection the best, “as a cultivated collection for a woman who is a leader and a warrior.”

The world is a scary place and I think I might just need one of these pieces to help me fight my way through it, at least until next fashion week.

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