PARIS--Growing up in Paris, Cacharel was what mothers bought their daughters to ensure they’d behave on a first date and appear like respectable young women. Preppy, French, below the knee.
Things have changed. Cédric Charlier is now in charge and the French designer, who previously worked at Céline and Lanvin, has given the house a successful makeover since his arrival in March 2009.
His neon-chic collection last season was a hit at the most exclusive beaches and cafés this summer and you can assured that the clothes he presented yesterday afternoon are going to fill elegant Parisian art openings this coming fall/winter.
A flawless Hanne Gaby opened the show in a floral print, cream woolen jacket and skirt (although she barked at us backstage when we asked to take a photo of her). The floral motifs faded into white, gray and light pinks ensembles, experimenting with layers at varying lengths--a long woolen sweater or cardigan with an longer, lighter top underneath and an even longer skirt floating a centimeter or two off the ground.
This play of length and weight carried throughout the collection, with heavy wool coats and paper light chiffon skirts poking out from under hemlines, sleeveless jackets over silk blouses, and breezy pistachio dresses with chunky heels.
Lighter-than-air looks in cream (a more difficult feat for a fall/winter collection) were later contrasted by a return of the initial floral motif, this time on dyed black wool and masculine suits, adding a touch of androgynous edge to Cacharel’s trademark femininity.
All of a sudden, we saw a potential in Cédric Charlier to one day take over Chloé or even go back to Céline.
**All images: Imaxtree.