Charlotte Brown is an innovative womenswear designer from Nottingham. A recent graduate of UCLAN, Brown draws inspiration from diverse sources and isn’t afraid to mix things up in the name of empowering, beautiful fashion.
For her Spring/Summer 2012 offering she bravely eschewed a traditional lighter palette in favour of an all-black collection. Combining the drapery of Parisian couturier Madame Grès with the tough texture of laser-cut leatherette, her Alix Expanded collection gave every model on the catwalk a striking sense of feminine strength.
I found it refreshing to see a collection that used the construction of both the original cloth and the garment to create its silhouettes. The strategically placed slashes allowed glimpses of flesh, without detracting from the form of the clothes. Brown looked to the structure of expanded metal to inform her laser-cutting techniques and the intricate layers of her knitwear.
Such varied sources of inspiration contribute to the hybrid nature of Brown’s work. Each garment is full of juxtapositions, such as structured cowl necklines and latex-coated tulle manipulated into fluid drapery.
While her work is directional, I feel that Brown has achieved that perfect balance of being both exquisitely crafted and wearable.