At a moment when so many designers are mining the glittery, peasant-y, and Bourdin-y bits of the Me Decade, Cédric Charlier—charged with shepherding a brand that peaked at that time—isn't. "That Cacharel girl from the seventies, she doesn't exist," said Charlier backstage before the show. "I try to give a new vision."
In that vein, this clever designer will flirt with Cacharel's sweet floral heritage without ever fully closing the deal. And the sophisticated way he does that is one of the things that makes him seem increasingly like this house's real-deal savior, a mere four seasons in. The very cool-looking print in this neatly serene collection had the look of a surreal, half-done artist's sketch. Charlier used it to bookend the show, starting off with the motif on camel and then ending on black. And in the middle, a powdery mix of solids.
As for the silhouettes, Charlier doesn't overtly do retro, but his clean-lined clothes had a fresh-scrubbed, standaway sixties shape. His tweak was a new version of layering or "super-positioning," as he called it: He'd put a boxy top over a matching straight-cut mini from which flowed a chiffon skirt. As odd as it sounds, this double skirt was pretty at times, but not so much that you might actually see girls trying to pull it off next season. Though not as flashy of a headline, his layering of all those pale makeup colors in boxy tops and fluid skirts and blousons, long shirts, and trousers was quite beautiful—particularly when they streamed out together for the final walk. In all, it was an impressive effort.