Marie Victoire, and how she wears her vintage Cacharel blouse. (Photo Hughes Laurent).
Cacharel Resort 2011.
Our favorite shirts and shirt dresses, with some hanger appeal.
A simple white shirt dress styled with patterned kneehighs for the lookbook. Killing me.
Closeups of Cédric's prints.
HL and Cédric.
It had to start somewhere, and for Cacharel founder Jean Bosquet, it started with a blouse. After his seersucker ladies blouse was featured on the cover of Elle in 1963, people were into it. So into it in fact, that by the end of the 60s Cacharel was like a Kleenex or a Chapstick: people went to shops asking not for a dress shirt, but for a Cacharel. And for good reason! The fitted flat front shape got rid of the standard pointed darts at the chest (women’s lib, it's callin’ your name!) but still kept its sweetness with a myriad of playful, soft prints that Cacharel himself rescaled and re-colored while working for print house extraordinaire, Liberty of London.
It’s not only what he did but when he did it, as 1960s France was (in an alternate universe to what’s going on now) dominated by haute couture. Obviously Dior’s New Look was no longer the new look to rowdy ‘68 Parisians, and it was Cacharel, Ted Lapidus, and the like who gave the growing female youth culture what it needed. Looking at the style of labels synonymous with why we think Parisians dress so well now (APC, agnès b…) the mini florals, straight, carefree cuts, and menswear-meets-womenswear “French chic” started with these 60s designers and are still what reign supreme today.
Good as these current arbiters of French Chic are, Cacharel’s current designer, Cédric Charlier, takes what Bosquet started, and he makes it modern instead of rolling with the same aesthetic. His resort collection features a skirted shirt dress here, a cotton tunic there, and pays an epic yet subtle tribute to the form. The prints, however, are 200% his own. Made from manipulated photographs of flowers that Cédric took himself, the prints are straight up wild! Vivid and abstract instead of petite and faded, Cedric did just what Bosque made his name for: he changed a trend that we appreciate but don’t need any more of, and made it exactly what the girls want. And that we do.
The other day when I met up with my friend Marie Victoire in Paris, she just happened to be donning an amazing vintage Cacharel blouse. See what I’m talking about first hand, and as compared to some of our picks from Cédric’s current collection.