Charlotte Knowles counts Hunter Schafer, Kylie Jenner, Solange Knowles, and Bella Hadid as fans of its intricately layered, lingerie-inspired designs. For Spring/Summer 2021, Creative Directors Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault want to offer "optimism and hope" in uncertain times. Their new collection, Petals, features the brand's signature lingerie and dancewear-inspired designs with a brutalist take on florals, seen through a Western lens.
Petals was showcased digitally for London Fashion Week via a fashion film created by acclaimed London-based photographer Harley Weir. The meaning of the collection is reflected in the film, which shows models spinning continuously on a revolving platform that is interrupted intermittently by time-lapse footage of the life cycles of flowers. Petals represents "Knowles and Arsenault's experience of the ceaseless nature of the fashion system, but also the potential for rebirth and change that this moment holds," the brand said in a press statement.
The Charlotte Knowles vision is "an empowered but disruptive vision of femininity, dangerous and sensual", and this is seen in the mix of early 2000s fashion trends with countercultural flower power motifs from the '60s and '70s. Charlotte Knowles 2021 plays with on-trend pieces like butterfly tops, psychedelic flower prints, mesh fabrics, and drawstring accents, while having a kind of DIY sensibility. Floral and butterfly motifs are balanced with Earth-toned, Western influences like suede jackets, leather corsetry, brown denim skirts, and a focus on flares — whether that be flared tights, handbags with structured, flared silhouettes, and Mexican-inspired pointy-toe boots.
The collection is pretty, but vicious. "We were wondering: what will come out of this moment as important?" the designers said in a press statement. "The idea of making beautiful pieces that last. When everything is so uncertain, we wanted to make something really creative, positive and uplifting. This collection came out of trying to feel something good."
Ahead, get a closer look at the Charlotte Knowles Spring/Summer 2021 collection.