From the resplendent golden hues of their Spring/Summer collection, Charles & Ron have moved on to a more rustic palette that ties in well with the colours of Autumn. Saints, Love and Mediterranean Lights ropes in a variety of patterns, fabrics and textures that create a fresh contrast to what we have previously seen from these ground breaking artists.
The designers have explored the Maltese temperament through their choice of colours. There is a cardinal pink that is amusingly teamed with a familiar combination of black, yellow and orange; who else would be able to fuse Catholicism with the old buses? Nonetheless, they work incredibly well together in a midi skirt that is masterfully flared by black under-netting – Charles & Ron never fail to address the baroque.
This colour scheme is further enhanced by blocks of camel which cleverly holds down the ostentation that might arise from pink, black, yellow and orange. This neutral addition softens the overall product, and renders their bodycon dresses and a pair of ankle-length trousers triumphant. The dome shape is also explored in the sleeves of said dresses, adding a theatricality to the pieces that is reminiscent of an ecclesial interior. Charles & Ron tone this style down with a thick-textured camel, paired with black leather elbow-high gloves and red stilettos by Manolo Blahnik.
There is so much going on in this collection. The designers have played with an array of ideas, not just in terms of colour, but also in textures. Knitwear comes into play in the form of a chunky orange and black floor-length scarf, a knitted mini dress and a chunky orange jumper, all of the same fabric. The latter has been teamed with an exquisite black leather A-line skirt and leather thigh-high boots.
However, alongside this bright and cosy ensemble came a selection of morose numbers, such as an outlandish see-through and structured underskirt and a flowing patterned maxi dress whose print is shared by a trench coat and maxi skirt. This has also been teamed with a striking woolly textured V neck top. Upon closer inspection of the dotted patterns on the black fabrics, you’ll be able to make out outlines that echo the lighting decorations on churches during Maltese feasts, with the black fabric as the night sky backdrop.
Charles & Ron quite literally make their mark on a number of pieces, with their logos printed across the fabrics. What also makes a reappearance is their trademark cape which we saw back in their Fall/Winter 2015 collection. This added a regal touch to a maxi dress that has numerous crowns emblemed across the whole piece, with the word ’empress’ printed vertically. Another piece which oozes stateliness is a camel coat with dark etchings of churches and steeples. The structure of the coat has an almost papal and cassock quality to it, which goes along with the general theme.
This has possibly been Charles & Ron’s most daring collection to date, and the interesting choices that they’ve made certainly had heads turning at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York.