Charlotte Ronson 2013 Spring/Summer Collection @Cheryl Gorski/www.fashionmaniac.com

Text by KARA WEYMOUTH

Runway Images Photographed by CHERYL GORSKI/FashionManiac.com

Despite being born in London and raised in New York City, designer CHARLOTTE RONSON’s line has always had a California girl vibe. I’ve always thought of Charlotte as being more of a socialite than a designer, thanks to her privileged background and close friendships with celebrities like Nicole Richie, Nicky Hilton and Ashlee Simpson. But it’s now clear that she does have a talent for creating cool girl frocks, among other skills. As she has grown (as a designer) over the past few seasons, her aesthetic has matured from grunge to a sophisticated sexy, given the Charlotte Ronson girl many more fun options in her wardrobe.

For SPRING/SUMMER 2013, Charlotte embraced her girlie side with sheer paneling and nipped waists. Ronson told Style.Com that she was inspired by “waves and light reflecting on the ocean” as seen in her pastel palette and shapes. A standout example came from look 11. The form fitting gray-blue denim reflected light with its thin stripes and white polka dotted sheer back. The waves influence was almost comically literal in a color blocked cutout dress that would have been better as just a flirty blue skirt but Charlotte is at her best when she relaxes and goes more casual with jumpsuits, bra tops and leather.

Charlotte obviously wants to continue to grow as a designer and appeal to a wider audience. Unfortunately, the boucle suits and shift dresses just felt too forced. Her evolution from tomboy to girlie girl is appealing enough, and, besides, the Charlotte Ronson girl doesn’t want, or need, office wear.

This season also marks the launch of Charlotte Ronson Handbags, which is sure to please her established fan base. From trendy leather bucket bags to ladylike satchels and slouchy clutches, Charlotte has the perfect bag for any occasion. I suspect that many an It girl will be carrying the Mine Mini Miaudiere and Classic Floppy Tote come spring!

Overall, this collection was a wonderful step in establishing Charlotte as a serious, contemporary designer apart from her public persona.