The Charlotte Olympia Samba Show You Have to See to Believe

Pulling out all the stops definitely takes on a new meaning when you are Charlotte Olympia Dellal. This is a woman for whom retro, thematic maximalism has no bounds. She puts the creative in creative director and has an uncanny skill for fixing upon an idea and unpacking it to the nth degree.

And yet, with the bar set pretty high, Dellal managed to outdo herself with a joyful spring ’17 runway show on Sept. 18 at London Fashion Week that celebrated Brazilian Copacabana and Carnival culture.

charlotte olympia london fashion week spring 2017 ss17 lfw
Charlotte Olympia’s spring 2017 presentation at London Fashion Week.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

Who: Bebel Gilberto, one of Brazil’s most famous bossa nova singers and a national treasure, was brought in to perform for the five-act performance, which featured dozens of professional dancers as models, wearing custom Olympia creations from hat to platform. And even the stuffed banana props (in a stealth move, Chiquita was a sponsor of the show) and other fruity fare were all designed in-house. 

Where: Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel’s grand ballroom. 

charlotte olympia london fashion week spring 2017 ss17 lfw
Charlotte Olympia’s spring 2017 presentation at London Fashion Week.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

The shoes: With a performance this charmingly campy, it would have been easy to miss the shoes. Dellal seemed to realize this risk and made sure that costumes (say, sequin leotards or frilly dresses) highlighted the kitschy-chic shoes. She also stuck with what works for her customer: towering heels and Instagram-friendly novelty flats. Standouts included the Theresa knotted peep-toe wedge done in lamé, the Amazonia jungle green suede monstera leaf slide and a block heel sandal dubbed the Gilberto and worn by the star. The Chica Chica Boom python and fruit adorned platform and That Night In Rio parrot and Perspex heel were more fixture than footwear, but quite something to behold nonetheless. 

The verdict: It’s not easy to show accessories on a runway and remain still on brand. Dellal deserved the wild applause that met her at the show’s finale. 

charlotte olympia london fashion week spring 2017 ss17 lfw
Charlotte Olympia’s spring 2017 presentation at London Fashion Week.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

Click through the gallery below to see more styles from the runway.

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