PFW: JEAN-CHARLES DE CASTELBAJAC F/W 2014

One of the things I like about the Marquis Jean-Charles de Castelbajac is that he is, as much as anything, an artist. Not content to simply design clothes, as though that isn’t a full-time job on its own, he is also quite an accomplished painter and he marries the two often in the prints and styles he brings to the runway. Coming from an artistic focus then, more than one of pure fashion, JCDC is more focused on an overall aesthetic with his clothes. More than just a collection of pieces, he is concerned with the overall look of an ensemble and how well things go together.

That philosophy was certainly present in this afternoon in his fall/winter 2014 collection. Working from a neon sculpture of a woman’s face, JCDC delivers a line of very-well put together clothes that look as good as they wear, and are distinct enough to create an individual identity. His palette works with color combinations, such as blue with green and brown, salmon with yellow and a darker green, or grey with blue and yellow. While several of the ensembles work with a solid colored core and contrasting accessories, JCDC has the ability to blend together his colors very much as an artist would with a paintbrush, so that the final look is one of cohesion, a full picture rather than a collage of pieces.

Silhouettes are largely full, but still enough of a feminine touch to not look as though one has raided their father’s wardrobe. Skirts and dresses typically fall at or just below the knee, pants are more full and masculine styled while tops tend to be more fitted with rounded padded shoulders and tailored waists. Nothing is ever so constraining as to restrict movement, but neither are the looks overly bulky, with the possible exception of one purple coat constructed of multiple layers.

What really shines in this collection are the coats. Working with a variety of fabrics including mohair and leather, JCDC explores a variety of styles that take some of the boredom out of winter outerwear. From a variation on a cropped moto jacket to one absolutely delightful piece that is part coat, part cape, and part poncho. Looks here are so very creative that on may be tempted to just sitting around in the coat all day looking wonderful.

There is one miss early on in the collection: a blue onsie. Why he felt the need to even bother with this piece I can’t explain. I will be very happy to see designers put the whole onsie craze back in a far corner of the closet where it can be completely forgotten.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has created yet another collection that is as unique as he is, yet totally wearable, functional, and appropriate. These are complete looks that add some beauty and artistic elegance to your wardrobe.

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