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Charles Anastase Womenswear S/S11

Using pastel colours, the designer pursued his classic yet eccentric take on girly dressing through shirt dresses and flowers

Sitting in the garden of his East London abode drinking wine, listening to the music of Serge Gainsbourg and sketching alongside his creative consultant and best friend of 10 years, Valentine Filliol-Cordier, Charles Anastase returned to the core of his aesthetic this season. After last fall pursuing abstract shapes inspired by a “Winter Garden”, Anastase returned to what he knows best. And that was a particularly French take on girly dressing with just a hint of eccentricity and restrained sexiness. In a muted ice-cream palette of peach, ivory and lilac, he sent out frill-fronted blouses, jacquard trousers and simple shirtdresses that chimed with fashion’s current zen for minimalism whilst retaining a beguiling sweetness all his own. The breathtakingly sheer maxidress festooned with flowers emphasized the idyllic origins of the collection. Besides his eternal muse Filliol-Cordier who cut the models’ blunt fringes to resemble her own, remaking them in her image of wan beauty; Alexa Chung beamed from the front-row, happy in the knowledge that she has next summer’s wardrobe sorted.

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for the collection?

Charles Anastase: We were thinking of the collection in our garden. Seeing images in our mind of flowers, flower pots, linen. In fact the linen from our garden influenced the colour of the collection. Last season was very heavy and dense so this time we did it very, very light. The atmosphere for the collection was much more happy and at peace

DD: Tell us about the music you used in the collection?

Charles Anastase: With the first song I wanted to use something a little more dramatic. But I was a little scared that Serge Gainsbourg’s sentiments would be a little bit shocking compared to all the season.

DD: This season seems a return to the Charles Anastase girl that we know: beautiful, feminine, elegant.

Charles Anastase: Yes! That’s exactly right! (laughs) We came back very confident to the look we like to do. We didn’t ask ourselves many questions, we just feel the moment. We didn’t take inspiration from Seventies or whatever. These days there are references everywhere from The obvious references are always mashed up.

DD: You started off as an illustrator – do you always start from the sketch?

Charles Anastase: Not always but with this one yes. I do the sketches and then Valentine comes and changes everything, making it more feminine and more wearable.

DD: You’re a Parisian working in London – what does living and working here bring to you?

Charles Anastase: You can really afford the quality of life. It may be stupid but I see London as the Hollywood for young people – beautiful guys, amazing women, lots of musicians. It’s like the centre of Europe and I feel very comfortable here.