The House of Rochas celebrated its 90th anniversary this season with an ode to the shapes and signatures the brand pioneered in the 1930s. Designer Alessandro dell’Acqua paid homage with swooping swallow prints and sweet little secretary dresses done in sturdy wool. Although it had the makings of a throwback, dell’Acqua rooted his collection in the present with modern touches, like plush, fleece, puff-sleeved dresses in dayglo orange or coats made from patchworked sections of embroidered paillettes and fur. Restrained glamor permeated the collection, offering up dressier options for day and slinky creations for night.
Shapes were fitted even when fabric was more loosely draped, as planar surfaces were cinched at the waist for a striking hourglass silhouette. The first portion of the collection was light and sweet, with the kind of innocent style favored by Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) in The Dick Van Dyke Show, except that in 2015 she is tempted by luxury, sporting fur jackets and embroidered topcoats with her sensible tailored wool dresses. Fashionable crumb-catcher dresses turned the clock back as well, but all of the retro references soon gave way to more modern ideas. Toward the middle of the show, dell’Aqua flaunted a flare for the dramatic by adding fur-patch pockets to skirts and by scoring folded and layered sleeveless dresses with pinpricks of crystal beading. Sensual additions to the collection were comprised of see-through swaths of glamorous Chantilly lace, which were molded into sexy skirts, fitted blouses, and tiered slip dresses, breaking up the visual density of so much wool. Transparent dresses were printed with flocks of swallows, which transitioned easily to the prim and proper closing look composed of a swallow-flecked topcoat and matching dress. With the old and the new combined in refreshing ways, Rochas secured a future that makes tidy use of the past.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree