If Wednesday and Thursday in Paris were a Drake song, and we’d started from the bottom, “now we here” would probably just be a place referring to in more grown up skin.
For a designer like Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who is now at the helm of Rochas (and his own brand, No. 21), this would be a vague transition that spoke more to his wanting to recognize the DNA of a brand with relatively mutative genes than anything else. To understand why his a-line skirts and oniontastic layers of gown lengths under tea-lengths in mature and slightly sinister florals and large slouchy robe coats appealed to the initiated onlooker is to understand that former artistic director Marco Zanini’s influence still runs through a selection of the clothes.
Not everywhere, of course — Dell’Acqua practically wrote the book on embellishment, but on the topic of leather dish gloves: well, leather dish gloves.
I received a text message from my friend right after Anthony Vaccarello to ask me why I’d never worn a long, chunky turtleneck beneath a tight mini skirt. The reason could have been obvious: who wants extra padding to coat the space between a woman’s ass and her skirt, but far more telling than the actual question was her asking it.
A good designer makes you think. A great designer convinces you that no matter what the circumstance, you could be his girl. Which is how I continuously find myself feeling at Vaccarello. But maybe that’s not a note about me — maybe that’s simply a nod to the shifting perception of that which makes a woman feminine and strong. Leave the tea skirt at home and slip into a cut out leather number.
Or, you know, don’t.
Dries Van Noten will still be next door, ready to provide the whimsy you crave even if this season it’s slightly exaggerated. His embroidery and stripes on men’s coats as coupled with ankle grazing skirts and separately, FUPA pants, remain the signature skeleton of his collection but with a whole new slew of colors on prints — orange, yellow, pink and so forth — and ideas (“Ibizan psychonaut,” Tim Blanks wrote) to boot. So much so, in fact, that the sunglasses have become an even more pungent marker of his presence.
Or something like that.