London Fashion Week Day 1: Jean-Pierre Braganza

Image: Tristan Fewings via Getty Images
Image: Tristan Fewings via Getty Images

Jean-Pierre Braganza’s autumn/winter 2014 collection ‘Artemisia’ was initially inspired by the early baroque painted Artemisia Gentileschi.  Phew, that’s a long name.  A contemporary of Caravaggio – yup, the Italian keeps on coming – she is overlooked as a result of standard painterly misogyny.  Or so the show notes said.

The feeling in the BFC Showspace on Somerset House’s cobbles this morning was cheerful.  A smaller space than last season, that vast U-shaped tent of dreams, the autumn/winter pen semed to be paring back on invitations, as our friends over the Pond in New York have done.  A reaction to the fashion circus, perhaps?

Either way, Jean-Pierre Braganza’s show was getting underway, standing room only or not.

Braganza’s girl this season is fierce.  She’s a cool goth – she’s all about leather and gloves and spiky shoes.  Swathes of material seem to follow her around, in giant coats, draped jackets and swishing, stunning culottes.  Those are two words unexpectedly put together: ‘stunning culottes’, but that’s what they are.  Elegant and ideal for the coming season, in all its wintery glory.

Braganza’s artistic inspiration is not buried under these piles of silk.  No, references are present in his staple piece, the coverall – tied at the waist.  Jumpers – can we call them that?  Pullovers, peut-être – were structured and textured; quilted and layered over long fitted sleeves and wide-legged cropped trousers.

Some people have been trying to stop wide-legged trousers happening, like fetch, but Braganza isn’t buying it.  His girl this coming season is modern and elegant, but darkly and deeply intelligent.  It’s something to aim for.

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