London's skyline is now dominated by a controversial tower of glass known as the Shard, but just as that shape insinuates itself into the popular consciousness, so Jean-Pierre Braganza—who has in the past tailored his designs around shardlike angles so sharp you could cut your fingers on them—took a canny one step beyond with his new collection. He insisted his dream client was "a mature woman with curves," and he accordingly smoothed away the edges in favor of sensual shift shapes and silken shirtwaisters.
There were shard-y echoes in the opening and closing of today's show, with a trompe l'oeil black and white waistcoat, and a dissected white tux, broad of shoulder and nipped of waist. In between, there were also origami folds that highlighted odd issues with fit and only helped to emphasize that the collection's strengths lie in those bias-cut fluid shifts. The asymmetry, which is also a Braganza signature, had been tempered into skewed color-blocking here, subtle side swags there. It was that curious subtlety bordering on delicacy that shaped a clutch of appealing leather pieces.
Another Braganza hallmark has been a tendency toward the florid. He exercised that today with electrostatic patterns of red and sky blue lifted from his latest muse, the Kiev-based artist Zinaida Lihacheva, but even they had a new restraint that was—dare we say?—mature.