Fashion Week: Charlotte Ronson's Dancing Queens Head for the Alps

The designer discusses her wintry muse

A model walks the runway at the Charlotte Ronson Fall fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
A model walks the runway at the Charlotte Ronson Fall fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.
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It's always a party at Charlotte Ronson, the designer whose dance-ready collections and elaborate Fashion Week shows share a restless joie de vivre with the work of her producer sibling, Mark. As it is, Ronson's shows tends to be a family affair: twin sister and DJ Samantha creates Charlotte's exuberant runway mixes.

This season's repertoire was high on alpha-female prowess, firing up tracks from the Kills, Sleigh Bells, PJ Harvey, and M.I.A. in tandem. Ronson's streamlined, powerful basics were of equally strong merits: it's clear that the designer, who admits that she prefers designing for the winter months, has sports and leisure on her mind. As always, her clothes cater to a woman on the go; this season, she seems to be destined for a Swiss chalet and is dressing up a bit more for the occasion. "This season has been very organic," Ronson tells Rolling Stone. "It's different from past seasons in the sense that I have moved away slightly from the grunge underlining."

How have you evolved your aesthetic for the new season?
The collection has become cleaner, more refined and ladylike, but there is still a strength/sharpness that you can see coming through from the leather pieces. This season has really evolved and has found a great balance. I had a modern wardrobe for a real girl in mind, someone that matches her stocking to her gloves to her bag, and does it in such a carefree way. She is loving all the details. We added in retro ski and luxe chalet references with our knitwear and coordinated looks, while colorful bold graphic prints and angular lines have an Art Deco feeling.

What are the benefits of designing for winter?
There are more layers and textures to play with.

How does music influence your design methods or creative process?
Music is really important; it sets your mood and tone as well as the pace and strength of the collection.

How would you describe your own music tastes?
Bountiful. I like a little bit of everything.

Do you feed off the energy your musical siblings create? Did you ever consider being a musician yourself?
I definitely feed off of my musical siblings, but I have never had that urge to actually create any myself.

Growing up, what outside cultural influences drove you to want to design?
Being a twin, I thought that it was really important to have my own identity. Fashion has always been something that I am drawn to that sets me apart.

What do you do to stay inspired?
Travel when I can, go to shows, galleries, and movies. And I read literature, photography books. I make sure to keep my eyes wide open and pay attention to what’s going on around me.  You never know when you will be inspired.

Do you have real-life or imaginary muses that inspire your work? Who is the most recent?
There wasn’t one exact person that inspired this collection.  If I had a woman in mind this season that would be wearing my fall looks, she would be Bianca Jagger. She epitomizes the perfect mix of femininity and masculinity.  Her look is always perfectly coordinated, which is one of our focal points this season. 

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