This was Cédric Charlier's third turn on the runway for Cacharel, and there's a palpable sense of excitement around his work—quite an achievement considering that this brand seemed to be on the verge on sputtering out. As reported previously, business is moving along at a brisk pace. With that in mind, what better seed of an idea for Charlier's new collection than "optimism?"

Rather than rose-colored light, the designer bathed the runway in a radiant orange, like sunshine on acid. You think Cacharel and you think prints, but much of the story here was about strong, solid color. The designer started with a series of skin-tone hues, explaining that you have to feel "bien dans sa peau" before you look good in your clothes. It also happened to be a good starting point for a calculated crescendo of increasingly hotter pinks and neon yellow, culminating in an explosion of paint-splotch prints.

Like it or not, there was not a floral in the house—not even in the vein of last season's flat, abstracted versions. The prints in this collection, Charlier said, were inspired by a book of Kim Gordon's paintings, and they were meant to invoke a floral without literally going there. This particular motif might not be everyone's cup of thé—and therefore a tougher sell—but it's evidence that the designer is pushing the brand into new and edgier territory. The same could be said of a few slightly awkward silhouettes, like boxy shirts and a halter jumpsuit. But other pieces—fresh-looking pleated or ruffled cotton dresses; a sporty short-sleeved anorak, all punched up in bold shades—should keep this label's momentum in its happy place.