“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”– Bill Cunningham
For the Charles & Ron Fall/Winter 21/22 collection the inspiration starting point was the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta. The Palace was built between the 16th and 18th centuries as the palace of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, who ruled Malta at the time.
Within the Palace “The Council Chamber” known as the “Tapestry Chamber” houses the only complete and intact set of the famous 18th century French “Gobelins” tapestries in the world. Produced by the prestigious “Gobelins Royal Factory” in Versailles (France), it represents idyllic scenes inspired by the then New World of the Americas.
Every Grand Master, upon election, was obliged to bestow a gift, known as the “gioia”, to the Order. The 10-piece “Tentures des Indes” tapestry collection is one such “gioia” which was very generously donated by Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Roccaful (1697-1720) and completed between 1708 and 1710.
The complete set was a highly desired replica of a similar series in Versailles Palace and represented scenes of South American flora and fauna. The designs for these tapestries were derived from sketches produced by the Dutch artists, Albert Van den Eckhout and Frans Post when they accompanied Prince Johan Mauritz of Nassau-Orange as Governor General of Dutch Brazil in 1636.
This season’s collection celebrates the beautiful scenes featured on the tapestries and are digitally manipulated for graphic prints on Velvet, Jacquard, Mikado and Brushed Cotton. The romantic scenes are juxtaposed with graphic prints of armoury, exploring the idea as fashion serving as an armour to protect us from the outside world. As we often create an image on the outside to shield ourselves on the inside.
Baroque inspired patterns are used for the new knitwear collection and a new logo inspired by knights in battle is featured on men’s knitwear and as embroidery on bomber jackets. Several dresses are hand beaded in patterns depicting the tapestry scenes and interpretations of armour worn by the knights. The main colour palette for this collection consists of Bronze, Wine, Red, Pink, Silver Grey, Sky blue and Royal Blue set off against staple Black. Metallic Silver and Gold are used as contrast colours and to evoke the idea of metal and opulence. The Men’s collection also features Forrest Green and Beige.
The new collection is paired with a selection of new bag designs which are hand-made in Malta in Italian leather. The new styles feature Laser-Cut patterns, Laser engraving , hand-beaded elements and the introduction of 3D effect Leather to the C&R accessory collection.