I had the pleasure of covering one of my favorite design teams again, Charles & Ron, at Art Hearts Fashion during New York Fashion Week FWâ€™17 season. The event, supported by Aids Health Care, was held at the famous Neo Gothic NYC landmark, the Angel Orensanz Foundation.
Love was in the air as models wearing the colors of the Mediterranean winter sunset breezed down the runway. Deep sea blue, Madonna Blue, Sunset pink, Lilac sky, and silver, all highlighted in black, made up the breath-taking palette. The silver filigree prints of dolphins and the 8 pointed cross also had a significant meaning to the recentlyÂ married couple, they are celebrating 25 years of love together by tying in the silver anniversary theme. The art of filigree is a traditional Maltese craft. Itâ€™s easy to see the love for the Mediterranean and Malta in all of their work.
This beautiful collection featured their signature graphic prints, the C&R red and white gross grain ribbon being the featured graphic print. There are suede and feather jackets with elaborate hand beaded tulle and stud embellishments. Hand beaded dolphins also adorned many of the designs. The silver anniversary theme is very visible in several pieces including a handcrafted leather handbag with a large 25 and the final metallic flowing skirt made of custom Jacquard fabric with dolphin print. Other fabrics used include wool, silk and velvet.
The designs were accessorized with handcrafted Maltese Filigree jewelry designed by C&R and handcrafted by Sterling Jewelers. Shoes worn by models were designed by Manolo Blahnik and boots by C&R.
The dynamic duo walked away from Art Hearts Fashion with a well deserved outstanding performance award at New York Fashion Week in the category of Ready to Wear.
I fell in love with this wonderful team when I first met them 4 seasons ago and I will continue to adore their brand. Every collection is filled with the most unique and invigorating color palettes and this one surely melted my heart. As the Valentines season is upon us I would just like to say that I Heart Charles&Ron.
Backstage Q&A with Charles & Ron
Jessica Faith Marshall: Tell me about the DNA of your brand. What creates the essence of Charles & Ron?
Charles & Ron: We’re definitely inspired by our home country Malta and the Mediterranean. I think our surroundings and home country influences the way we use color and prints, which are inspired by architecture, the arts, anything around us. Lately, weâ€™ve been adding all new materials that come back in all of the collections.
JFM: Iâ€™ve read that you both are self-taught designers. How do you think this influences your brand? Does it establish a freedom and fearlessness with your designs?
C&R: I think so. From the beginning, we were self-taught. We have more freedom to create, thereâ€™s no pressure really. Itâ€™s just the journey, weâ€™re always learning and discovering new things.
JFM: Tell me about your design process as a duo, how does it work? Is one more creative, one more business, or do you both have the same mindset?
C&R: I think we work very good as a team; I (Ron) usually do the sketches and the initial thought process before the collection, and Charles is very technical. When it comes to technique he actually picks up the scissors and just starts cutting. We work very well as a team.
JFM: Define this collection and the main inspiration in less than five words.
C&R: Mediterranean, love, anniversary.
JFM: You both just recently got married. Congratulations!
C&R: Yes, weâ€™ve been together for 25 years, so weâ€™re celebrating this, as well, with this collection.
JFM: I can feel the celebration with all of the colors and materials. Thank you both very much!
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