While the world seems to be consumed by chaos, fashion is tasked with reflecting cultural and social shifts. As a result, many designers have moved decidedly toward optimism, showing brightly-colored, confectionary collections for the Spring/Summer 2018 season. Over at Rochas, Alessandro Dell’Acqua tapped the same vein, but he also provided a caveat: these clothes might be optimistically appointed, but they also have a distinct don’t-touch-me vibe. As distrust for one’s fellow man grows with every geopolitical affront, it can be quite comforting to find a wardrobe that adds a protective layer of physical distance, achieved by distinctly voluminous silhouettes.
Rochas’ candy-colored and brocade-embroidered volumes offered an idea of sartorial personal space. In the mix were tented tunics worn over swishy cropped trousers, tiered lampshade-fringe frocks, densely embellished work shirts, and diaphanous printed gowns. The billowing figures on the Rochas runway for Spring/Summer 2018 recalled the shape of Cristobal Balenciaga’s famed ‘Infanta’ gown, which derived its exaggerated volumes from the painting ‘Las Meninas’ by fellow Spaniard Diego Velázquez.
Cleverly engineered to look like a couture work of art.
While this silhouette was once crafted out of restrictive interior boning, as in the case of the metal suspension inside Balenciaga’s version, Rochas focused on creating the same shape by cutting and draping alone (with the help of thick silk taffeta). Cleverly engineered to look like a couture work of art, Rochas’ candy-colored and brocade-embroidered volumes offered an idea of sartorial personal space by putting an extra few padded inches between you and the next person. You don’t have to be a misanthrope to appreciate that.