Fashion
  • Text Sara Semic
  • Photography Emily Malan
  • 15th February 2020

Corset, revisited

This season marked design duo Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault’s second show since leaving the Fashion East fold. Titled I Can Feel It In My Bones, the collection built on the audaciously hyper-feminine yet gritty vision the pair presented for their SS20 Venom collection with a bold maturity.

Their early-2000s brand of sensuality, seen in the slinky sheer black slip dress and barely-there bikini tops, was infused with a notably Western flavour, as models marched out in leather shirting, lace-up leather trousers, skirts and braided belts realised in an earthy palette of burnt orange, tan and ochre.

The brand’s hallmark corsetry was reimagined: in tough armour-like leather and created without underwiring in order to be worn by a range of body types. Subverting the garments oppressive history and spinning it into a symbol of power and diversity. Elsewhere, tailored trousers were slashed at the front and held together with hook-and-eye fastenings, repurposing elements of the corset in tune with a new attitude.

Prints comprised of paisley and Baroque motifs, which swirled across second-skin leggings, as well as a dainty hand-drawn ‘scratched’ out rose print inspired by mining references from the Victorian era. This season also marked the brand’s first venture into t-shirts: sharply cut and layered under corsets, demonstrating how the Charlotte Knowles woman might style her lingerie-derived pieces irl.