The Rochas fall/winter 2017-18 runway show at Paris Fashion Week was pretty muted. There are still some of the unique fabric manipulations and colors we expect to see, but the lineup shows a great deal of restraint from creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
Backstage, Dell’Acqua told Vogue that “elegance” was the one thing on his mind for this season’s runway. To the designer, then, elegance means midi skirts and pointed pumps.
The silhouettes were tailored more for the fashion elite who have need of garments for evening events. A few basics came through in different designs, but it mostly comprised event-wear. The clothes were elegant and the flashiness was kept to a minimum, but it was still there in unexpected glimpses.
The proper dresses were quite sophisticated and elegant from the front, but when they turned around there was a surprising amount of skin being bared. So, the designer opted for a new direction, but didn’t abandon that sense of fun and modernity. As Dell’Acqua told WWD, “It’s an equilibrium between classic and eccentric.”
His eccentricities in the Rochas fall 2017 ready-to-wear line came mainly in bows. A crisp white blouse had a line of bows down the middle, as did a light blue coat. Bows popped up on shoulders and fronts of garments, in places other designers may not have even thought. Yet, they didn’t detract from the mature elegance the designer was trying to portray.
The Rochas label’s “R” was a common motif that popped up in many different places. It was embroidered on clothes, handbags, and shoes. It became a bit too much for a cohesive runway line, but if the garments are out on their own the garishness wouldn’t be nearly so glaring. It’s one of the eccentricities Dell’Acqua brought with him to the collection, but it didn’t meld as well as the bows.
Floral was a subtly sexy pattern in the lineup. A tea-length bustier cup dress was created in a classic black floral. It read as subtly sexy and refined. Fur was another fabric to note, with two bulky coats coming in tan and red.
Another fabric manipulation that borders eccentric is his fringe garments, particularly the two dresses – one black, one gold. The gold look was surprisingly sophisticated and would look stunning at any evening event; but the black one fell short, with the volume becoming disproportionate in some areas.
Needless to say, Dell’Acqua easily accomplished what he set out to do. He made an elegant and sophisticated collection that was centered around femininity without entirely giving up his eccentricities. This seems to be the first step in a slight brand redirection, but it is too early to say for sure.
It would be easy for the designer to steer Rochas in this more mature direction – as long as Dell’Acqua never lets go of his little quirks that make the clothes fun and unexpected. This is a nice break from the standard, bizarre Rochas setup, but we’ll have to wait for the brand’s next runway showing to determine whether or not it will be a lasting trend.
Photos courtesy of Vogue