Charlotte Ronson’s fans were in for a bit of a surprise when they entered The Hub at the Hudson Hotel on February 7th. Instead of the usual quirky-cute, happy-go-lucky silhouettes they’ve grown so accustomed to, the stage was filled with darkly romantic, velvet-clad mystery girls who were only by dutiful definition reminiscent of the bookworms and tomboys they met the previous season. Granted, this new Ronson girl was still young, intelligent, and comfortable in her skin, but there was something taunting and luxurious about her now. She had traded her flirty flower dresses for black and burgundy velvet pant suits, her hemlines had come down, her waist was more severe and she wanted to be chic. Nothing drastic had happened really; she was just in a mystical mood.
And that’s how the designer had wanted it. I have worked with Charlotte Ronson for a few years. First solely as Casting Agent, but for the past two collections also as Stylist and Consultant. As soon as Charlotte has conceived the idea for the season’s look and the first sketches are made, I come in to give my two cents. We add and delete pieces, debate on fabrics, buttons and finishings, and edit all the way up to the moment the entire collection is ready for fittings. Nothing is set in stone until the girls are on that stage. It’s a fun and creative process with developing ideas and euphoric epiphanies. But from the get-go it was clear that Charlotte was headed in a more serious direction for winter. We introduced an inverted pleat in jackets and skirts, made a gown – the first one ever – and designed a signature black crepe suit for example. I’ve also discovered how much sense it makes for a Stylist to cast her/his own models. I know exactly which girls I need and where to get them.
We spent one week in the studio, continuously casting, fitting, trying, refitting, cutting and sewing. The factory is just a few blocks away so each time a garment needed changes, an eager intern braved the snow and dropped off the alterations. Up until the very last day we came up with new linings and changed fabrics and looks. We collaborated with Tuleste on head bands and jewelry, Hue provided socks, Modern Vice the shoes and Yestadt Millinery made hats. Day of show everything went smoothly and the floor was packed! The show got great reviews and the fans…? They went home inspired.
Many thanks to my assistants Chloe Bauwens and Daniel Lutz, Kristin Lee and Elizabeth Ozarowski at Charlotte’s Ronson and the team of Seventh House PR. Also thanks to the modeling agencies who supported us: Click, MC2, Frame, Major, One, VNY, Wilhelmina, Trump, Marilyn, New York Model Management, IMG and Fusion.
During preparations, I am wearing a vintage, army green chiffon shirt by Givenchy; Black velvet ‘Martini’ flare jeans by J Brand; Rubber platform boots by Burberry; Hunter green single breasted blazer by Moschino Couture; Eskimo hooded coat by Just Cavalli; Black ‘Le Bac’ satchel by United Bamboo.
Photos by the talented Hannah Sider.