Rochas Womenswear A/W12

Marco Zanini continues his fixation with hyper femininity by mixing home and heart with a dose of frump

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The word “frump” isn’t exactly glowing with positive associations.  In fashion speak, you add the word “chic” to the end of it and suddenly all is well. Marco Zanini embraced the word with gusto with his latest collection for Rochas and found an audience falling over for things, which society sees as “frumpy”. Last season, Zanini mixed up a hotchpotch of cinematic references to produce a zany take on 1950s feminine attire. This time round, there’s definitely more of that cinematic pomp and you could think of any number of deranged housewife characters from films dating to the sixties and the seventies and that would be completely appropriate for Zanini’s collection. 

The final passage of silk faile gowns that swept the floor with deliberate voluminous vigour - bustles, bows and all those curves you’d want in a fairytale ending dress - were the final pun on mid-century grandiosity and weirdly, like the rest of the collection, it all looked terribly desirable

The onslaught of geometric prints derived from perhaps a naff 70s interior were the clue to the female character Zanini had in mind - a self attributed quirkster who dares to layer print on print, complete with thigh high socks that are also mottled with geometric insanity. The Swedish potter Willhelm Kåge (Zanini’s mother is Swedish) was the background inspiration for the richly hued prints but ultimately it was the confrontation of the prescribed notions of good taste as well as what we supposed find ugly or not, that prevailed in this collection.

There was a large degree of finesse to Zanini’s proposition of the “ugly” - coats came bonded with patterned silks on the reverse, the hoisery was printed with the look of jacquard and for every printed surface an unadorned knit in deep mustard or a navy blue retrogazing trouser suit would balance all the printed zane.    The final passage of silk faile gowns that swept the floor with deliberate voluminous vigour - bustles, bows and all those curves you’d want in a fairytale ending dress - were the final pun on mid-century grandiosity and weirdly, like the rest of the collection, it all looked terribly desirable.

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