Colour and precision. As in the work of two giants of photography: the primary colours of Erwin Blumenfeld’s covers for Vogue America in the ’40s and ’50s, and the iconic statue-like precision of Cecil Beaton’s black and white shots.
Rochas’ new summer collection juxtaposes and overlaps dense blocks of contrasting light. Yellow, sky blue, mandarin, lilac and green. Decoration disappears and the spotlight is on construction. Pleats, drapery, flounces. The glorious tailoring of the forties is back in the lines, volumes and silhouettes of every creation. And underskirts add substance to the dream, without ever indulging in nostalgia.
Fabrics are sumptuous: devoré velvet and floral jacquards, masterpieces of hand weaving that transforms spring into brocade and adds opulence. In dresses, shirts and above all reversible coats: creations that do away with the boundaries between daywear and eveningwear, in a triumph of flowers.
Black and white tulle, lace and plumeti bring lingerie to mind, while the colour palette veers from bright colours to the quieter powdery hues of the most refined, ethereal part of the collection.
Hem lengths all touch below the knee. Allure joins the couture spirit of the tradition and petites mains of maison Rochas with a more modern attitude, as if a contemporary Teddy Girl were to put on a formal gown, a family heirloom, and wear it in a casual, unprejudiced way.
As is always the case with Rochas, accessories provide the punctuation in a statement about who you are. Platform sandals with wooden soles and sling- back straps are lit up with colourful ribbons, or adorned with fabrics from the collection (jacquard and dévoré) like memories, echoes of dancehall wallpaper.