Multi-hyphenate and fashion journalist KRISTOPHER ARDEN-HOUSER sits down for high tea with Charles Anastase to discuss his new Spring/Summer collection.
, the French-born and London-based designer, is known to many for his whimsical proportions, surprising color stories, and affinity for otherwise forgotten shapes. I met my friend at The Wolseley for high tea just before the Spring/Summer 2013 collection was released through his website. There, I found him dressed in his usual preppy garb reading The New Yorker
. We ordered some colorful scones and champagne and got chatting. Charles told me that he recently decided to pare back his creative communication: For so long, everybody has expected me to present a crazy, colorful, and moody environment [to complement my collection.] Now I just want the clothes to be the main focus—plus, I like to surprise everyone!” Indeed a surprise: Charles’ new video lookbook
presents an emotionless model walking diagonally across a white seamless. This approach feels light years away from his FW09 campaign, in which his muse and friend Valentine Fillol-Cordier was photographed in the clothes falling up a flight of stairs (with a view up her skirt). This new collection is still very Charles
, perhaps sans the 1979.
Charles cites Casimir, the cloud-dwelling dinosaur from L’île aux Enfants
, as the inspiration behind the fabrics and color choices for the season. Additionally, archive photographs of American children. These images reportedly inform the stripe element of the collection while the sepia tone of the photos is reflected in the khaki and chocolate color palette. I love the 70s-meets-Victorian detailing (especially the high collars), floral prints, 3-D embellishments, and the sweet petal skirts worn over boyish shirts and bell-bottoms. The collection, in truth, doesn’t need any noise to surround it because it’s perfectly loud on its own.
Shop Charles Anastase here