In a season already dominated by the palest of chalky pastels - that is, when designers can bring themselves to use a colour other than white - it was difficult to imagine how Jean-Pierre Braganza would adapt his aesthetic to the changing time. After all, this is a man whose vision is less dark, more... black. Imagine the shock then when not a speck of the dark stuff made an appearance on his S/S 2011 catwalk, which instead was awash with peony-pink, ivory and pistachio.
Braganza said he was thinking about fallen rock angels - a troupe of male models resembled a fleshy-lipped young Jon Bon Jovi, while his girls had an air of Patti Smith, with wild eyes and wilder hair trailing eagle feathers. The clothes themselves focussed on drape, in scarf-necked tops, drop-crotch dhoti trousers and simple, sinuous sheath dresses of jersey or silk crepe. The palette was restrained to bleached-out desert rose shades, or prints based on clustered birds, biker flames and masses of blooms. Nicholas Kirkwood picked up on the latter with layers of shredded chiffon packed petal-tight on his slant-back platforms.
An elongated perfecto-dress in pepto-bismol pink leather was hardly a viable offering for summer, likewise a turquoise suede romper, but they were the exception rather than the rule - and as a catwalk statement still packed a punch. For those concerned the designer may have lost some of his identity, the anatomical tucks and rucks in those jersey frocks were logical progressions from his work of the past few seasons, but rather than attempting for brutal, robotic crispness and hanging heavy with the effort, they looked airy and effortless. Indeed, the whole offering did - add focussed and polished to that too, elements Braganza has sorely missed in the past and that made this show such a pleasure to watch.