Veronique Branquinho – Pre Spring Summer 2016 Ready To Wear
The other day, the owner of one of the fashion industry’s marquee showrooms was talking about a sales strategy that seems to be working for smaller brands. “They do one thing,” she was saying, “and they do it incredibly well. Retailers know what to look for from that designer. Customers rely on the brand, and they’re loyal. Still,” she added, “it’s hard for designers not to get caught up in that pressure to tick all the boxes.” This season, Veronique Branquinho took a stand against that pressure. Her new collection was comprised of 15 floor-sweeping dresses, among which two featured black-and-white “impossible landscape” prints and two others had an overlay of black tulle on white fabric, which created a grayscale effect.
The rest of Branquinho’s dresses were all white or all black. You could order them either way. It was refreshing to see such a strong, singular proposition. More than that, it was convincing: You exited the designer’s presentation with the vague suspicion that it would be foolish, circa early 2016, to wear anything other than a long djellaba of perforated cotton/poly poplin, or a dungaree dress with a skirt of crisp zigzag pleats.
To make a collection like this one work demands a ton of discipline; it also entails a devotion to detail. Branquinho’s details sung—there was a stunning amount of handwork in these clothes, from the smocking on her sleeveless polo dresses, to the embroidered crisscross belt loops on her shirtdresses, to the lace insets of the words “Hope,” “Love,” and “Faith” on a pair of T-shirt dresses. The collection was controlled in its palettes and its silhouettes, but it wasn’t boring, and it certainly wasn’t downbeat. Branquinho’s vision was romantic—sublime, even. Where does a girl sign up for her coven?