Véronique Branquinho was invited by Belgian lingerie label Marie Jo L’Aventure to create a unique capsule collection in succession to the brand’s 2010 collaboration with designer duo A.F. Vandevorst. After discontinuing her eponymous label post-crisis last year, Véronique Branquinho has taken up various other projects, firmly keeping her signature present in the fashion scene. She heads the world’s oldest luxury-goods house Delvaux as artistic director, and has released seasonal footwear collections with Spanish brand Camper. For this Belgian collaboration, Branquinho has developed a compact collection backed by the strong expertise of Marie Jo. The result is a combination of Branquinho’s pure and refined style and a quality lingerie house’s technical perfection: precise couture references add value to the satin pieces in emerald green and onyx. We sat down with the designer who talked us through the pieces.
Dazed Digital: This is your first lingerie collection. Did you find it difficult?
Véronique Branquinho: It’s something I always liked to do but never had a chance to, because it is such a specific task. It’s very technical. It is difficult especially because it needs to be practical and it needs to be comfortable. When Marie Jo asked me I was very happy because they are really the masters in how to cut lingerie and in providing comfort. In the beginning I started designing and playing with all these seams and then in the end they told me “we can’t use it” because of function, and the fabrics all have to pass a test … I think this is great – it starts with that, and even if these are limitations, within the limitations you can make something beautiful. It was a whole new world for me. The stretch and support and fit … it’s all very precise. It’s a small piece of the body to work on so it is about millimetres.
DD: Did you get a lot of creative freedom apart from those restrictions?
Véronique Branquinho: Absolutely. Of course when you collaborate there are certain wishes. You have to take the market into account. For example the use of padding is not my personal choice, but it is part of the collection, as you need to think about different women’s shapes.
DD: What is your personal favourite from the collection?
Véronique Branquinho: I really like the demi corps - it means that the top piece is made longer - worn in combination with the serre taille, the piece that’s in the middle. It has a bit more fabric, but I think it’s very sensual.
DD: How did the painting by Lucas Cranach become such an inspiration?
Véronique Branquinho: It started when Marie Jo asked for a “pièce unique”, which I had to make. But I’m not very good at making things that are not wearable. My work is about women, how we feel and how we look. One of my other loves is painting and I love the Old Masters. When I see those women, all these Eves and Venuses, I think they look so beautiful, but I also think they really look like women of today, even if they were painted in the 16th century. We are the same women. That’s what all my inspiration is about: the universal woman of all time. Time changes but the woman looks the same. That was the starting point. Then I began to paint lingerie on this Old Master’s work, to show that the shapes are timeless. The work will be auctioned in October for the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
DD: What else influenced the designs?
Véronique Branquinho: A lot of the inspirations come from couture, the pleats and three different types of tulle that were used: a transparent one, a really opaque one which gives strength, and then one that gives support. The elastic is based on the gros-grain, a typical ribbon used in couture. Of course this was developed to be flexible for lingerie but still have that look. A lot of the detailing is in the backs of the pieces, which are more rounded and higher than usual, making it more glamorous. The use of satin, the contrast between the shiny and matte materials is also a big part of the overall look, without being too decorative. I like pure shapes and not frills, as you have in many lingerie collections. For me it has to remain underwear – and I don’t want my underwear to disturb my outerwear.
Photography: Martin Bing
‘Véronique Branquinho for Marie Jo L’Aventure’ will be available in selected shops mid-September.