Talking with designers about their collections is sometimes profoundly confusing. Cédric Charlier claimed inspiration from illuminated medieval manuscripts: What thuh? There was a brief outbreak of medieval embroidery, and a shade of green Charlier said he'd borrowed from Brueghel, but the toothpaste-pink he stuck next to it seemed more fundamental to the spirit of the collection. With its hard techno edges, it felt like it was a literal aeon away from monks carefully daubing paint on parchment. If anything, the retro-futuristic feel of the clothes was No Wave—that tiny sliver of streamlined nihilism between punk, New Wave, and whatever came after. Astute trend-spotters are inevitably isolating that movement as watchable.
Charlier was keen to emphasize the roundness of his silhouette, which seemed willful given the essential architectural angularity of the clothes he showed. There were indeed some big, beautiful topcoats, but they fought for attention against the sinuous layering of jackets, skirts, and skintight Bermudas. Precision is a Charlier signature. So is the hardware he defines it with. Copper zippers trailed down spines as an accent. When he added twee piecrust collars, it was techno's witty repudiation.
That's not where Charlier's heart lies, though. The soundtrack chucked Philip Glass's classical crack-up of Bowie's "Heroes" all over the place, and the models walked out at the finale in a lurid red light to the brutalist strains of The Normal's "Warm Leatherette." Still, Charlier is at the beginning of his career, and if his promise is dark, at least it's promise.