June 11, 2014 New York
Sometimes the idea animating a collection is so good it has a master-of-the-obvious quality. How is it possible that no one before Veronique Branquinho ever thought to translate classic fabrics such as denim and wool check into sketch prints made from ballpoint pens? Branquinho said she used about a hundred Bics while creating the prints for this collection; she also explained that the idea for the ballpoint prints was born of her frustration at not being able to use the winter-weight fabrics she loves. A ballpoint-print version of a natty check, used in one of Branquinho's signature mannish suits, was one way past that dilemma. Another was the scribbly denim print that the designer whipped up into A-line maxi skirts with gold buttons and safari pockets. Pace that maxi skirt, there was a bit of a seventies thing going on, elaborated in the ballpoint-print maxi dresses, which Branquinho said paid homage to Leonard. All this Bic-ness could have gotten a bit tiresome, but Branquinho exercised her usual restraint, and anyway, there was also a fair amount of non-Bic stuff to see here, too. About half the collection riffed on sunset colors—pink, orange, prune—and there were also pieces that picked up a loose uniform theme, like the embossed basket-weave jacket in gold. The latter items will get a warm reception from customers, especially the bright pink and orange blouses trimmed in black vinyl. And that was another idea that came off master-of-the-obvious: Maybe you never realized you wanted a bright pink ruffle-collar blouse trimmed in black vinyl, but, duh, of course you do.
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