Closer Look: Cédric Charlier

Cédric Charlier A/W 12

If 2011 wasn’t the best year for Belgian designer Cédric Charlier, the delights that 2012 have brought him so far must certainly be making up for it. Some seventeen months ago, the 33 year old was unceremoniously dumped from his creative director role at the French fashion house Cacharel – now he’s celebrating the success of his first eponymous collection and is a finalist in the prestigious ANDAM competition, which awards its winner with £185,000 in funding.

Should Charlier scoop the prize, he would be in the company of former recipients Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon and Hakkan, whose careers enjoyed a boost after they won. The competition supports young talent, and whilst Charlier certainly qualifies as this, with his upcoming Fashion Week show only his second under his own name, the Brussels born designer is certainly no stranger to the industry.

Cédric Charlier

After graduating from the school of Visual Arts of Brussels, Charlier pitched up in Paris and had stints at Lanvin and Céline before his appointment at Cacharel. After they dropped him after just two years in the top seat, the head of the French label’s licensee, Aeffe, was so appalled that he sanctioned his company to bankroll Charlier’s own eponymous line.
The first collection of this (now available here on made its debut at last February’s Paris Fashion Week, and saw Charlier shed the floral shackles of Cacharel, shaking off the delicate prettiness of his former label and emerging with something more sharply chic, with a distinctly futuristic edge.

Cédric Charlier A/W 12

Charlier’s new muse seems to be a futuristic femme fatale, judging from his embrace of glossy, electrified fabrics and sexy silhouettes. The designer has said he wants his ‘new sartorial vocabulary to focus on the body’, and compared his cutting to that of a scalpel, and it’s true there is serious precision to pencil skirts and contoured turtlenecks, as well as an aptly metallic gleam to the materials he has employed.

Cédric Charlier A/W 12 on

‘This, his debut collection has a very contemporary edge’ explains Mel Chan, buyer at London’s Cochinechine boutique, who picked out the key pieces that have just fallen in love with, ‘what he has done is merge classic Parisienne tailoring with a clever use of fabric and quirky fastenings. The pieces we have chosen (to sell in the store) give a real taste of what’s to come from this very talented young designer. We’re very much looking forward to showcasing more of his magic.’.

Charlier himself, it would seem, is a little less confident ‘This brand is just starting its life’ he told Elle US recently ‘I do not know what the future holds’. We’d bet that it’s as bright as his lustrous metallic dresses.

by Hollie Moat;

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