Thursday, 27 September 2012

PFW | ROCHAS Fall/Winter 2012/13

In Edmund White’s recently published novel, Jack Holmes & His Friend, the friend a blue-blooded Virginian called Will Wright marries an eligible New York society swan called Alex in the early sixties. The couple prosperous, educated, Eurocentric live a bohemian, upwardly mobile life in suburban Westchester. They share a predilection for growing their own vegetables and Scandinavian home furnishings, while Will goes to work at a Manhattan promotions agency every day. In its way, Marco Zanini’s exceptional fall Rochas collection caught some of this mood; a mid-century Mad Men like urban sophistication tinged with a desire for the humanist elegance of twentieth-century Swedish arts and crafts. 

During a visit the day before his show, the designer was visibly excited at the prospect of unveiling this collection. The Italian Zanini had visited the cultural landscape of his mother, a Swede, by looking at her fellow countryman, studio potter Wilhelm Kåge, who combined the simple and direct honesty of his stoneware with refined, graphic decorative motifs and a palette of jade, petrol blue, golden yellow, and an earthy brown.

Kåge’s aesthetic directly informed Zanini’s colors and his take on print and decoration, but rather than using clay to express himself, Zanini turned to the likes of storied Lyon textiles house Bucol to produce exquisite gilded jacquards that recalled Kåge’s work. “I was thinking about how to make everything look embellished from head to toe,” Zanini had said, “but I didn’t want to resort to doing it in an obvious way.” For him, that meant building layers of pattern and texture; there’s very little of this collection that hasn’t been worked to a staggeringly refined degree, with embroidering and beading overlaid onto some of the prints, the micro jacquard hose that covered the legs, the high- or mid-block-heeled substantial sandals that were a collision of crocodile, snakeskin, lizard, and stingray.

Zanini’s silhouette revolved around a roomy sense of ease and comfort that owed a little to the early sixties (cocoon coats, girlish pleated skirts, boat-necked straight dresses that narrowed at the knees) and also something to the geek-chic seventies (shirt dresses, ribbed sweaters, flares that miraculously elongated the legs). If the initial inspiration was deeply personal, it has to be said that his Rochas collection felt like it was the most intimately connected to Zanini’s view on what fashion should be: opulent without being excessive, refined without being safe, a pleasure in the beauty of awkwardness. (Many of his models were wearing bookish, heavy framed eyeglasses as if they were particularly myopic philosophy majors.) And he couldn’t resist a nod to the kind of woman he dreams might have worn the clothes; his slim-frame handheld purse was named Liv, in honor of iconic Swedish art-house actress Liv Ullmann. Will and Alex would have definitely approved.

 Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: © VOGUE
Photography by © Filippo Fior/GoRunway & © Gianni Pucci/GoRunway


'PFW | ROCHAS Spring/Summer 2013'

Collection, Fashion Show and Review

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