Charles & Keith x Cecelie Bahnsen: Back To School But Not As You Know It

Known for pushing the boundaries of modern footwear and accessories, CHARLES & KEITH have further done so by collaborating with Danish designer, Cecilie Bahnsen.

Words By Brittany Lyons

If, like me, you wore a school uniform for the majority of your childhood and adolescence, you’ll find the latest collaboration with CHARLES & KEITH an especially nostalgic experience.

The accessories powerhouse operating out of Singapore have just launched their latest collaboration, with Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen.

Copenhagen-based, Bahnsen is known for her deep infatuation with the school uniform and reimagining it in a modern and couture-like way. Having studied at the Royal Collage of Art in London and worked at influential Parisian couture houses, Bahnsen returned home to Denmark to launch her eponymous label in 2015. Her clothing creations sitting somewhere between ready-to-wear and high-class couture, are where French intricacy and Scandinavian simplicity meet to create something complex and inspired.

The 4-part shoe collaboration with CHARLES & KEITH is her very first foray into designing a shoe from concept through to finished product.

The footwear capsule takes inspiration from traditional school footwear. Reinventing something not conventionally fashionable and creating something modern and desirable. Bahnsen has put her signature spin on the classic Mary Jane and a mule version, through the use of patchwork and quilting.

Working with the contrast between masculine and feminine, masculinity was achieved in the flat sole of the shoe while delicate femininity was introduced with the fabric and embroidery. Classic silhouettes are balanced with a palette dominated by black, white and flourishes of colour, represented by the citrus yellow of the mules.

A clear brand purpose of CHARLES & KEITH is to honour social and environmental responsibility, through internal processes and well as the support of organisations who are paving the way of change. Reining true to the brand’s philosophy, each of the styles within the collaboration have been created with sustainably conscious materials – either upcycled or recycled woven fabrics. Specifically, leftover fabric from a previous Bahnsen collection, and a recycled satin that was sourced by CHARLES & KEITH.

The collaboration’s imagery brings with it innocence and nostalgia for many of us who attended uniform-mandatory schools. A campaign with plays on the grasping hold of a woman’s youth, with almost a whimsical nature.

The four-part shoe collection is available exclusively at CHARLES & KEITH.