Like Moschino, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac can always be counted on to deliver an amusing collection that mixes the quirky – think Mickey Mouse print – with ladylike dresses, separates, and classically shaped sportswear. This season, however, saw a distinctly clearer focus on more straightforward looks, which is no doubt linked to the fact that the line was recently bought by a South Korean sportswear company.
Despite this season's more toned down feel and lack of exuberant colors, there was a lot for Castelbajac’s tongue-in-cheek design-loving fans to covet in the Keith Haring-esque prints, thick striped pieces, star paneled tops, and wide and rolled collar jackets. One of the geometric grid looks, a strapless dress, had Mickey Mouse ears poking out from the top (this is, after all, a runway show that Sasha Baron Cohen, in character as Bruno, deemed worthy of crashing during the Spring 2010 collections). In between the cartoon-worthy were monochrome silk separates and dresses and suiting in a variety of iterations.
Interestingly enough, the most memorable garment was not a dress, a top, or even a jacket, but the giant pearl choker that was paired with the finale gown; while there’s no way of knowing if the designer was looking to poke fun at the running, some would say unfortunate, Spring 2012 choker trend, it left a welcome impression that the designer's love for the quirky can't be tamed.