Sep 29, 2008
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Cacharel couple make catwalk debut as label turns 50

Sep 29, 2008

PARIS, Sept 29, 2008 (AFP) - The Anglo-Japanese design duo Mark Eley and Wakoko Kishimoto brought in to rejuvenate Cacharel presented their first runway show on Monday, September 29th as the vintage French house celebrated its 50th birthday.

Cacharel Fashion Show in Paris spring-summer 2009. Photo : PixelFormula

The pair, best known for their Eley Kishimoto label, are hoping to shed Cacharel's slightly fusty image and move it forward from a 1960s timewarp.

Their theme for next summer, appropriate for a couple who divide their time between Toyko and London, was migrating birds. Giant mobiles of a flock of white geese and cloud silhouettes hung above the catwalk and were echoed in a watery blue and white satin print or worked out in white crochet superimposed on sky blue.

Their collection had a fresh feel, full of girly summer frocks, print blouses, boxy jackets and wide pants, and shirtwaisters with bands of print in different colourways.

Floaty dresses were layered or tiered, some falling into handkerchief points, in lavender, peppermint and white, worn with canvas wedgies or brightly coloured slingbacks.

For a finale, a host of fresh-faced young models skipped onto the runway, some in bare feet, for a retrospective of the house's long love affair with Liberty prints, used for frocks, smocks, bandanas, knotted headscarves and even gladiator sandals.

From next season, Cacharel will have its own exclusive prints designed by Kishimoto.

The house's founder Jean Bousquet told AFP backstage: "The spirit of Cacharel has not changed. It's about a fun-loving sexy young girl who doesn't want to worry about what she wears, she likes to dress simply."

For his altogether darker collection for next summer Gaspard Yurkeviech mingled such diverse influences as Art Deco, the tuxedos worn by androgynous Parisian muses and 1970s "glam" rock.

His deconstructed trench coats, split down the back, with cut-away short sleeves, were more like kimonos. His trompe l'oeil jackets and waistcoats in metallic glazed tweeds looked like separate pieces but were a single garment.

The palette was sombre, black or neutrals like grey and stone, with flashes of lurid orange for a zip at the back of a skirt or a shocking pink trim round the knee-length socks which were de rigeur.

Rajasthani designer Rajesh Pratap Singh's collection for next summer, shown Sunday, was quietly accomplished, relying on subtle effects like the juxtaposition or layering of sheer and opaque fabrics.

Key pieces were his artfully simple frocks, patchwork constructions where the structure was dictated by bands of pearl grey satin ribbon running in vertical or horizontal lines between geometric panels of fine pin-tucking.

The warm bougainvillea shades of orange, pink and red, often mixed together in the same piece, gave them a Mediterranean feel.

As well as sleeveless shifts, he showed sheer blouses with flowing linen pants and shorts, styled like jodphurs with draped fullness over the hips.

Chunky clear crystal necklaces were the only accessory allowed to intrude on his clean lines, which had the wearability factor one might expect from someone who launched his label in commercially savvy Milan.by Sarah Shard

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