Paris Fashion Week: Rochas’ dignified approach

ELLE's review of the A/W2013 collection

First out, a speckled cardigan with fur cuffs over a long skin-hugging peppermint tube skirt, a pair of very steep metal capped heels and a leather bag rolled up like a newspaper in one hand. This was followed by a super-wide cream satin coat, dappled in floral print and worn with flat, rubber-soled deck shoes. Another body-contouring tube skirt followed, then a huge swooping, wave-like skirt. In and out, in and out went the silhouettes. Creative director, Marco Zanini was certainly having fun with shape.


It’s interesting how Zanini, a real fashion eccentric, manages to tick so many of the big stories of the season and still make Rochas his own. Volume – tick. The combination of menswear with ladylike tailored skirt suits that whiff of austerity and post war 1940s – tick. Pretty pastel shades with slices of dark aubergine or black – tick. And the general leaning towards a grown-up woman who likes to be covered up, as opposed to a young thing who wants to show it all off.


Zanini does all this trend ticking – presumably, without even trying - but he still sends out a real Rochas show, or Rochas as we have come to know it over the past handful of years since he took the helm.

Some outfits have an almost charming frumpiness to them – like the apricot needle-punch sweater worn with a grey pleat silk skirt. Then there are the Zanini signatures like his brilliant coats, this time with a loose band at the back, repeated on those tube skirts, or the slinky trouser suits with casual pockets, or a pyjama suit in floral satin. These Zanini-isms give his collections a certain reassurance, ‘like an old friend’ is how he described some of his pieces in his show notes. But, with Rochas, you never quite now what’s coming down the catwalk next. Simply the best black voluminous coat you have seen all season or a swirling aubergine circle skirt that you have to scribble down in your notepad.

He said there was no specific reference or context for this collection, just ‘a dignified persona - with a wealth of experience and a certain freedom in her sense of self’.

The same could be said of Zanini himself.

See the Rochas A/W 2013 collection

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