Top-of-mind test: If you needed a humungous pair of ’70s-glam platforms right now (which, of course you do, if you’ve been paying attention in fashion class over the past two weeks), where would you go? Correct. Charlotte Olympia—off you trot! Charlotte Dellal made platforms her platform from day one in business as a shoe designer, which was eight years ago. So it was a move blessed with serendipity that she chose this season to put on her first show of all the components of her full hat-to-twinkling-toes femme-fatale imagery. She called it The Girl Who Fell to Earth, the title of an imagined retro sci-fi film, with a nod to Bowie (orginal king of ’70s platforms). “Forties-movie glamour got me into this in the first place!” Dellal said, laughing. “I’ve always wanted to have a shop—and I always wanted to do a show.”
The girls vamped along a circular runway at the Roundhouse dressed in black, all save for the accessories. The spotlights, in real time, picked out the multicolored glittery shoes—pairs with chunky curved-inward heels looked particularly wantable—and Perspex clutches decorated with cartoony astronomical symbols (though in photos, they are harder to see).
The thing to appreciate about Dellal is that her business is less a brand than a way of life. There was practically nothing there that she wouldn’t be seen out and about in on a daily basis (save the showgirl–slash–Guy Bourdin shoot hot pants). It was easy to imagine that the clothes—’50s-look slim midi suits, curvy bombshell dresses, and big-shouldered swing coats—had been gathered together in a sweep of Dellal’s and her mother, Andrea’s, wardrobes. Where did they come from? “Oh, we made them!” said Dellal. Conclusion: Charlotte Dellal has a world inside her that has always been waiting to come out. The mediums of shoes, bags, and accessories have set her on the path to huge success so far. Her presentation also raised the tickle of a question, though: Wouldn’t it be great if some of these quintessentially chic clothes, the kind you just can’t find anywhere now, could be available, too? They wouldn’t need seasons. Some things rise above fashion to become a matter of personal style, taste, and being certain of who you are—and Charlotte Olympia is a shining example of that.
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