Cédric Charlier acknowledged some of the season's signal items today when he showed generously cut trousers, culottes, sweatshirts, oversize drop-shoulder coats, and short dresses paired with thigh-high boots. That's what is called being "on trend," and it's a savvy place for a relatively new designer to be. But that's not really the hard part. The challenge is standing out in the crowd, creating a signature that is sharp and special enough that the world gets it—better yet, wants to get it. After two years, you could say Charlier's signature is dark and arty, precisely cut, and menswear influenced. But how does he elevate that handful of ingredients—which, after all, crop up everywhere—so his dish is the tastiest on the table?
Snakes, that's how.
The designer used a rippling debossed pattern to suggest a snake's slither, and he pleated leather to look like a scaly skin. Same with the paillettes he applied to a shift dress.
"A deliberation on comfort, sensuality, and nonchalance" was his description of the collection. True, all three were embodied by the slouch of a blue pantsuit—by all the trousers, in fact. But otherwise there was a very un-snaky uncertainty about this show.