There was something off about almost everything - a seam wasn't quite straight enough, a fabric was slightly too shiny, a shoulder too stiff, sitting too far up on the body.
Jean-Pierre Braganza has evidently been rereading Adolf Loo's 'Ornament and Crime' and watching Bladerunner on a loop - how else to explain the Bauhaus replicants, part 1940 part 2040, that stalked his Autumn/Winter 2010 catwalk? Forget any vestige of curvaciousness, and indeed lay your femininity to one side - Braganza's woman is hard, cold and sharp-edged, as witnessed by sci-fi Star Trek shoulders, jutting fins, strict lines and geometric decoration.
At least, in theory. If you're making a point about laser-sharp, robotic precision, the clothes have to be equally flawless. Braganza's vision may have been pin-sharp Modernism, but by contrast his collection look almost Art and Crafts, so clunky and homespun were many of his garments. There was something off about almost everything - a seam wasn't quite straight enough, a fabric was slightly too shiny, a shoulder too stiff, sitting too far up on the body. Forgetting minor flaws, some looks were clangers, plain and simple - check the chunky knitted cardigan and mohair cowl-necked dress in blood-clot shades of bruise and haemoglobin red. At the same time, you couldn't help but feel it was nigh-on impossible for Braganza to rise above not only the limitations of his own craftsmanship, but also his surroundings - his imagination was crying out for a polished white catwalk peopled with sinister automaton, what he got instead was a show that, with victory-roll quiffs and parquet floor, resembled a forties village fete parading retro fashions of the future.
What then was there to wear? Undoubtedly this is the question each and every small designer should not only be posing, but relentlessly seeming to answer (and thus keep their often fledling businesses afloat) Braganza's proposal seemed to be the engineered, digital prints that closed the show - with distinct shades of the late, great, Alexander McQueen, they retained the graphic power first displayed on his runway three seasons ago, and will no doubt be still be saleable in this incarnation. Otherwise, only one dress stood the test - a maroon, high-necked wool crepe frock with savage shard-like inserts at hem and sleevehead. Not exactly directional, but it looked beautifully-made, subtle and - above all - worth whatever the store mark-up would finally cap the price at. A few more like it may have saved this show.