On June 7th, Cédric Charlier’s SS17 runway show was held on the roof of Shop Studios in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. Roughly 100 guests were arranged around a serpentine catwalk as the sun set over the Hudson River. The 25 models were outfitted in cleanly tailored pants in neutral colors and ruffled neon dresses, chokers that extended down their backs and full glitter suits.
There was a sense of whimsy to be found in the combination of flouncy midi skirts paired with silver tipped oxfords and the use of large floral prints in several pieces. Instead of reading like something to be worn to a picnic in a Wes Anderson film, everything in Charlier’s collection is intensely wearable. This was made abundantly clear as the wind on the roof picked up, whirling skirts and momentarily suspending hair as if lifted by electric shock. Though the gusts tried to interfere, the garments stayed in place and if anything looked more alive thanks to the disruption.
As per usual, Charlier’s pieces are things that while beautiful, are meant to actually be lived in. It’s easy to imagine wearing the gray, pleated suit jacket or any number of the loose, floor length dresses out and about. The beauty for the show reflects this sense of wearability as well. The makeup was scarce apart from the occasional intense winged eyeliner. The hair, styled by Shinya Nakagawa and his team, was simple. The team used products from Pai-Shau to enhance the models’ natural texture without making the hair look overdone. It was then secured behind the ears to counteract the natural disruptions that come from having a runway show on a roof. The understated beauty looks were necessary with such a vibrant collection in which nearly everything had some surprising color or texture.
These surprising elements are always balanced with something more expected. If a top is electric blue with ruffles, then it is paired with an equally electric pink suit that is expertly tailored. The balance in his SS17 collection is what really showcases Charlier’s skill and eye for designing not just a single garment, but a look. If this is what 2017 is going to look like, the future is bright.