Cerruti is back for the realistic romantic

A look from Cerruti’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection at La Halle Freyssinet for Paris Fashion Week. Photography: Alize Morand.

More from Paris Fashion Week!

Back after an eight-year absence, the house of Cerruti made a strong impression for their Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, presented at la Halle Freyssinet in Paris. The first collection designed by Richard Nicoll, hired last October by the house.

A natural move for the Central Saint-Martins graduate, who in the past consulted for Louis Vuitton and designed 5 capsule collections for Topshop, and still works for his own line.

Nicoll explained he wanted to “subtly tweak the house codes, mixing opposing and complimentary elements (…) to achieve a balance between something masculine and strong and feminine and soft. All with effortlessness.”

The “relaxed feminity” aspect was expressed through draped, see-through and romantic pastels, while the masculinity shown through the use of tailoring, workwear, sharp accessories. I liked the modern concept that workwear can also be soft and flowy.

But the biggest strength of the show was the use of colour, mastered by Nicoll here. Most of the looks were monochromatic and colour-blocking: first appeared a series of girls dressed head-to-toe in cherry, brick, terracotta, followed by another series in teal, navy, electric blue, and finally all in pastels like powder pink, apricot, baby pink and coral.

Of course, true to the heritage of quality of the house established in 1881, Nicoll chose noble fabrics such as mohair, angora, velvet and chiffon, complimented by luxe leather trousers and gloves. He however added a quirky British touch – that some might find too much, but which injected a breath of fresh air and youth into an otherwise rather bourgeoise collection –  with the use of latex, perforated leather and platform brogues.

Judging by the interested looks of Carine and the Vogue team in front of me, I have a feeling that we might hear a lot more about Cerruti in the seasons to come. Maybe a welcome challenger – and another example of revived house heritage – to workwear masters Céline and Chloé.

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