If the thread of avant-garde design from Stéphane Rolland’s Fall 2013 Couture collection continues forward, then he is on the heels of becoming the next Maison Martin Margiela. The tireless attention to small details that embellish and provoke the minimalist aesthetic underlying Rolland’s creations is a trademark of Margiela as well. Rolland doesn’t go full-throttle into the mad dimensions and fantasy vision of Margiela, but there are elements that are similar. For instance, Rolland takes a basic, maxi-length gown and adds juts of silk fabrics turned into stiff sculptural accents that look like abstract scribbles. He also cuts a long-sleeved dress with only a single sleeve; on the other side of the dress, the arm is swaddled underneath the fabric. These surreal details recall Margiela’s works.
A fitted silk bodice is paired with sheer paneling and finished with a hem utterly swamped in ruffle layers. Discs like melted abalone shells are fitted together and used to decorate waists, torsos, and necklines. Yards of fabric are turned into enormous silk gowns that breathe out threat and majesty as models sweep the runway. Rolland exaggerates traditional jabots and fringe details and applies them to layered chiffon and silk gowns, giving them a cartoonish air. The garments are unsettling because of the way they sit on the body, many of them making the models appear to float in thin air. This display, while elegant, is almost frightening because of its whispered rebellion. We don’t expect our couture to contain such edge, but Rolland is able to conjure silks into looks that defy explanation.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway