Charles & Keith has a knack for accessorizing the modern woman. So, when unrivaled dressmaker Cecilie Bahnsen was looking to hone the dreamlike world of her frocks into footwear, it was only natural that the two cross paths. Emmanuelle Mace-Driskill, Executive Director at Charles & Keith, met Cecilie Bahnsen a year ago, and thus, the project came to life. Centered around the theme of schoolgirl-chic, the Cecilie Bahnsen x Charles & Keith collaboration's brainchild is here today, and its putting a contemporary spin on the classic Mary Jane.
Debuting online on May 25, the collection features four unique styles — three Mary Janes and one electric lemon mule, all of which are upholstered in recycled satin from previous Cecilie Bahnsen collections. Aesthetic inspiration stemmed from Bahnsen's fascination with school uniforms, which have invoked an interplay between masculine and feminine dressing for generations. "Historically, the Mary Jane was not just a shoe for girls. Right into the 20th century, little boys wore them too," shares Bahnsen. "[They have that] contrast that I'm always looking for."
Bahnsen previously partnered with Suicoke on a collection of embellished sport sandals, but the designs in this release are more femme-leaning, imbued with romantic embroidery and floral motifs that keep with the nostalgia of the classic Mary Jane silhouette. Those familiar with both brands will notice two things: the shapes called upon are commonly associated with Charles & Keith, and the color palette is undeniably Cecile Bahnsen. Through to the brand's Fall/Winter 2020 collection, the blacks, whites, and flourishes of color we've grown attuned to are duly present in these four shoe styles. Thus, both designers' brand codes shine through, making for a fun, fresh way to experience the two, together.
To maximize sustainability (a buzzword that's evolving every day), the repurposing of materials didn't end with the shoes themselves. The dust bag has become a coveted object in and of itself, calling upon deadstock fabric from previous seasons for a sack that's as high-quality as the actual product. What's more: the shoeboxes are topped with an original print from the campaign. So, resultantly, the packaging goes above and beyond the usual fixtures, seen as a standalone element when designing and making for an exciting possession of its own.
To shop the collection, continue ahead — and keep eyes on the brand's site for the lemon mule's release, which is still on its way: