A MASTERCLASS in contemporary women’s ready-to-wear, for AW20, Charlotte Knowles presented her second stand-alone collection at London Fashion Week this Friday.
The collection, designed alongside Knowles’ partner, Alexandre Arsenault, and titled, “I can feel it in my bones,” took inspiration from far and wide, with what Knowles called, a “future baroque western” aesthetic.
Armour-like in appearance, harnesses and boned corsets were worn over mesh flared trousers, and curved-neck graphic t-shirts. Shearling jackets and full leather looks, in ochre and burnt orange, were punctuated with lace up eyelet detailing. The colour pallet was more earthy than in previous collections, with additional baroque inspired floral prints and the introduction of chequered tweed.
Accessories were a focal point, with square-toed snakeskin boots, and horn shaped handbags developed from last season. Serpent-like leather plaited belts, coiled around the models nipped waists, and crocheted capes grazed their angular shoulders.
The past few seasons we have witnessed a shift in the codes of female dress, with designers, such as Knowles (and her counterparts Nensi Dojaka and Supriya Lele), pioneering a new way of dressing for women. One that is built on the foundations of femininity, but challenged through technical construction and utilitarian detailing. These young designers encapsulate the need to rethink women’s ready-to-wear in the new decade.