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Cacharel Womenswear A/W10

Cédric Charlier takes Cacharel beyond its comfort zone with great success.

PhotographyMorgan O'Donovan

People who have fond memories of sweet Cacharel and its simpering prettiness might have to re-adjust their notions of this much-loved French brand. Cédric Charlier's second season cemented his intent to push the boundaries beyond floaty floral dresses. The slightly mannish cut coats and jackets together with the more feminine draped dresses and skirts all concentrated on shape, making the ditzy floral prints in mustard and burgandy a welcome surprise. A brushstroke draped print in muted autumnal tones again gave the illusion of shaping in easy shapes and pushed a more contemporary graphic element. Still Charlier hasn't forgotten the label's roots and the pachworked Liberty print dresses in the finale still give the brand's longstanding fans something to hanker after.

Dazed Digital: Do you feel like you're carving out a new identity for Cacharel?
Cédric Charlier: The thing that is a big change is in the attitude. This season, I wanted a girl who was more like a boyish girl that can break down the decors of romanticism. But it's not about masculinity and femininity but it's just a girl who plays.

DD: Cacharel isn't known for its tailoring and shapes but you've really pushed that in the construction of your outerwear pieces.
Cédric Charlier: Absolutely. When you have printed clothes, normally the construction disappears but I want to change that and inject structure into the clothes.

DD: The finale of Liberty print floral dresses was still a nod to the heritage of Cacharel though.
Cédric Charlier: I worked on the finale like I'm working with the music so there's this mix. It's about different inspirations but what interests me is the final mix. So you have little floral prints, bigger floral prints and afterwards you have all the draped prints on different shapes. It was something that was a bit more innocent in the end.

DD: What will you be pushing for the future at Cacharel?
Cédric Charlier: I want energy to Cacharel. Only energy.

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