Charles Anastase on his first London collection

15 September 2008

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Wow - what a way to start London Fashion Week! Charles Anastase showed for the first time in London town and of course, the French boy did it in style, opting not for one of the Fashion Week tents or official venues but for a gorgeous church in Marylebone (according to Charles it's much easier to get a cool venue like a church in London than it is in Paris). With the hazy sunshine streaming through stained glass windows  and classical music echoing around the building it was a perfect backdrop for Charles' Degas ballerina girls to tippy toe in their Natacha Marroon vertiginously high platforms, mini sheer crinolines, tutus, girly embroidery anglaise dresses and pastel silk layers. But all was not as saccharine as it looked - geeky Linda Farrow oversize glasses (which Alexa Chung and co on the front row couldn't stop giggling about), cropped shrunken biker jackets and the addition of denim took the form of Charles' other inspiration - Lolita. Testament to Charles's fast-emerging status, the FROW included Adrian Joffe of Comme des Garcons, Alexa, model Ben Grimes and Roisin Murphy who tried to squeeze into the front row next to Hilary Alexander last minute, but couldn't manage it so was shafted to second row. Chatting to Charles at the after show party in Bistroteque, East London, he told Grazia how pleased he was with the show, despite being exhausted and jetting back to Paris today to start on the next collection (he also divulged a secret love for Nicola from Girls Aloud who was apparently at the show, but she's so tiny we missed her!). His favourite aspect of the show? Using denim for the first time. It is indeed a significant departure from his usual tulles, chiffons and silks. But given he revealed his jeans are being manufactured in the same place as Balenciaga, somehow we think they'll be a success.

- Hannah Almassi


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