River Island knows a great young designer when they see one. Previous recipients of the retailer’s talent-nurturing fund – the River Island’s Womenswear Design Forum initiative – include Eudon Choi, Georgia Hardinge and Katie Eary. Next up to receive the coveted bursary and reserve an honorary place on the River Island rails is Jean-Pierre Braganza.
Renowned for his bold, geometric shapes, deconstructed tailoring and fluid lines, Braganza’s designs are fiercely feminine. A perfect match for River Island, this is very much a hero piece collection. Or, in the Central Saint Martin’s graduate’s words, the 11-piece line is for anyone who’s ‘confident and a risk taker’.
Structured crop tops, shift dresses, a boiler suit and sheer shirt dresses come emblazoned with a bold kingfisher motif set against the silver lines of a motorbike engine. Struck with inspiration during a trip to India, Braganza noticed unlikely similarities between the speed, agility and beauty of a kingfisher bird and the mechanical reality of a motorcycle, weaving around the back roads of Goa. ‘I imagined this girl who has a spirit of a kingfisher – beautiful, wild, colourful and gone before you even knew she was there,’ explains the designer. Slightly more understated pieces in the range include a black organza bomber and zip detailed jeans.
With ‘Karl Lagerfeld's apprentice’ and a stint at Roland Mouret also on his CV, the London-born designer debuted his eponymous label at London Fashion Week in 2004 and looks set for a very promising future.
The Jean-Pierre Braganza X River Island Design Forum range is a steal, with prices ranging from £35-£100. The capsule collection will be available in store and online at riverisland.com from 16 February 2015.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of River Island Press Office