>> In amidst the travelling between Moscow to London to Reykjavik, I almost forgot to react in some way to the news that C√©dric Charlier is parting ways with Cacharel, who somewhat revived the brand in the past few seasons of his tenure. Not that I necessarily react to every single fashion creative director merry-go-round news that occurs (and there's a LOT of that going on at the moment…) but this one seemed like a shocker considering how MUCH his collections for Cacharel were critically rated and it seemed to me that it had a whole lot more store/shop presence too with the likes Opening Ceremony picking it up as well as doing the pop-up rounds with temporary spaces in Milan and Paris.
Beyond all the sensible facts though, I was personally quite taken with Charlier's A/W 11-12 collection for Cacharel. I very nearly posted before the news broke that Charlier was leaving, to say that his way with dealing with the sugary sweet floral print so associated with Cacharel, was continually clever and that I looked forward to his ways of consistently avoiding the obvious floral cliches. Oh well… I guess I can still say those things except that there will be no more anticipation of the Charlier treatment at Cacharel.
By taking a pencil drawing and superimposing the lines of the flowers over each other repeatedly (I imagine there was a lot of tracing paper and lightbox action going on…), you get a pattern that is recognisable as a floral pattern yet the naturalistic quality of the original flower has been altered. The precise pencil lines that make up the pattern also slot perfectly into the sort of 'defiant florals' that I was seeing before A/W 11-12 and now they have cropped up here and in other collections such as Mary Katrantzou and Bally and with only selected portions of the pattern coloured in, the resemblance to an unfinished William Morris pattern is quite clear. The decision to hold back on the colour as well using only soft 'lingerie' colours (Charlier's words, not mine) in solid blocks, provide the perfect delicate background to the lines that almost look like they're a graphic animation in motion with flowers blooming haphazardly as well as flashes of colour filling in the white spaces sparingly. It goes without saying that smart layers that slot in with each other (particularly effective in the sweaters with a U-shape cut-out at the front) is also a key factor in allowing Charlier's wayward flower beds to prosper. I suppose it's bye bye subtle buds and hello…?!?