PARIS--Remember Cédric Charlier? The Belgian designer made Cacharel exciting and catapulted the brand into the high spheres of French fashion. Think cheeky layers, plenty of liberty prints and a glitzy front row. Yet, despite four acclaimed collections, his contract was mysteriously ended a few months ago. (Yet another inexplicable non-renewal).
Yesterday, Cédric presented his first eponymous collection and revealed a sartorial polarity: Galaxies away from the understatement of his Cacharel silhouettes, the Charlier woman is a full-on femme fatale.
Seemingly inspired by the Matrix and James Bond girls, the sharp, almost military garments included silk and leather bustier tops, cocktail dresses with naughty slits, and strict woolen coats. Gold lamé, waxed leather, plastic, and organza brought a touch of bling to an otherwise black and marine collection.
What’s the golden thread between Charlier's own line and Cacharel, you ponder? The answer is in the layering: a gap between a cropped top and a pencil skirt revealed a soft skin undershirt--all for a controlled experimentation in material contrast.
“What’s the similarity?” giggled Cedric backstage, “Well, all the bright colors and flowers, as you can see!” he joked. Humor and sex appeal are definitely key to the Charlier woman.