“Fashion for me is a language and I want to tell a story.”
Branquinho’s career has always been an antidote to the bells-and-whistles success of mainstream fashion designers. She graduated from the hallowed halls of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts at the tail-end of Belgium’s major contribution to fashion, the Antwerp Six. “I like the little roads in life – I don’t think the main highway is the most interesting way.” … “You can say that in all of my work.…It’s the opposite to the fast first-degree world we are living in.”
Referring to Charlotte Brontë’s heroines, Branquinho mentions: “I think that is part of my women; they’re independent and strong, but at the same time they’re fragile and I can imagine they get lost in romantic fantasies of solitude. It’s not an in-your-face slogan because I like the power of a whisper.”
“I like that there is a twist between what is elegant and feminine but also very controlled and styled. It’s the balance between those things that I like. Mainly, I like that it’s a bit nostalgic and melancholic as a reaction to the T-shirts and jeans, a look which my friend describes as ‘global corporate boredom’.”
The collections are assured of the quiet sexual power of the woman who knows that subtlety and conviction is much more powerful than high-octane frou-frou.
Interview: Osman Ahmed
Pictures: Ronald Stoops