Charlotte Knowles Is Making Lingerie an Outerwear Staple
by Dylan Kelly
31 July 2020
London-based designer Charlotte Knowles' eponymous label is only three years old, but its provocative, lingerie-inspired designs have quickly gained traction among fashion circles. Inspired by sexual liberation and enhancing the female form, the brand — headed by Knowles and her partner Alexandre Arsenault — offers a feminine, cool-girl take on the underwear-as-outerwear phenomenon.
After receiving her Master of Arts from Central Saint Martins in 2017, where she based her final collection on women who keep a collection of pornography under their beds, Knowles founded her namesake label with the intention of celebrating the confident modern woman. Landing on the Fashion East roster in September of that same year, Knowles and Arsenault debuted their first collection in a presentation, before hitting the London Fashion Week runway in 2018, where the label now sits as a season regular.
Cultivating the brand's signature aesthetic of sex-positive silhouettes with each collection, Charlotte Knowles is a pioneer for feminine fashion, credited with popularizing the casual corset after her designs landed on a slew of famous figures — including Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Bella and Gigi Hadid — catapulting her to the forefront of style.
Today, the British label welcomes an exclusive capsule collection with SSENSE, the Canada-based luxury retailer, and it exudes Knowles' claim-to-fame sensual look. Among the 7-piece range, the brand's sought-after Coli and Beha dresses receive updates in new check prints, while statement-making flared leggings and utilitarian silk dresses underscore the label's commitment to building a contemporary wardrobe for women.
"The capsule collection was meant to combine a few things we like: lingerie, sportswear, and in this specific capsule, bleached check patterns," said Knowles in a statement. "SSENSE have been very supportive and nurturing of us. For us, building genuine relationships with people that believe in the brand is incredibly important."
Knowles' one-of-a-kind patterns consistently take her designs to the next level, instantly capturing the attention of passersby on first glance, and this latest iteration is certainly no different. (The capsule is part of a larger expansion of SSENSE's dress offering which will include over 100 styles throughout the season from Ganni, Helmut Lang, Kwaidan Editions, Peter Do and more.)
Revel in Charlotte Knowles latest range, below, and head to SSENSE to shop the full capsule.
Photos courtesy of SSENSE