One can almost see the seemingly seamless perfection of Empress Elisabeth of Austria sewn into her riding-habit.
Some collections just look better on paper. Maybe it's about the whole being less than the sum of its parts. Take Jean-Pierre Braganza's latest offering, apparently (or allegedly) inspired by Victoriana, tailoring, and 'the sensuality of being covered'. Sounds great, right? A return to sobriety, to sleek, wasp-waisted elegance. One can almost see the seemingly seamless perfection of Empress Elisabeth of Austria sewn into her riding-habit.
As with any other adaptations, the danger is that it all seems so much better in your mind's eye. Braganza somehow twisted his Victoriana into a Tyrolean escapade involving far too much Loden green, metallic-spangled jacquard and purple. There's no misinterpreting those words - this collection was messy and unfocussed, overstyled and poorly edited. Dirndl skirts scarred with zips jostled with clinging jerseys, while stiff jackets gave the impression of complex structure through convoluted folding and tricksy seaming. The tailoring was generally taut - too taut, imperfections suctioned tight against the body. A print even Braganza termed 'eye watering' managed to fudge the worst of those, but isn't that whole Rorschach inkblot print thing starting to look old-hat on the high street, let alone in high fashion? Rendered in intricate intarsia knit for a short, simple sweater, one of Braganza's techie graphics had a fresh currency. Alas, that was the lone tone of relevance in a collection that felt overcomplicated, underthought and fussily unwearable.