Rochas Resort 2023

Charles de Vilmorin is feeling more at home at Rochas. For resort, he used currents from the winter collection to move the house forward, offering up “a very aquatic, colorful universe” while also evoking ideas about the love story between the house’s founder, Marcel Rochas, and his wife, Hélène, a proto-influencer who took over the house upon her husband’s death in 1955. “She may have been rather classic in appearance, but we found pictures of hers that were completely brazen. I recognize some of my friends in her,” he said during a Zoom conversation from Milan.

De Vilmorin loves “crazy decadence” and extremes, whether in fashion, music, or makeup. A vintage ad campaign for a now-discontinued Rochas perfume—an 1980s-era image of a model emerging from the water in a body-con dress—also provided inspiration. “I wanted to bring out the same feeling of fun, but in a way that’s more of-the-moment,” the designer said.

Rainbow stripes in primary colors fan out over an organza dress, for example, or cascade down an ethereal long, pleated skirt. A sky-and-sea mood comes with a print that owes a debt to Picasso, appearing on crepe suiting, jacquard, and fil coupé, perhaps paired with fully sequined thigh-highs informed by craggy undersea formations. (Speaking of which, such is the designer’s love for a thigh-high that he transposed its lines into the cut of mid-rise beige trousers.)

Elsewhere, he rocked out on dramatic volumes by revisiting the power shoulder or giving a short dress enormous bell sleeves, just one of a number of pieces cut in the spirit of traditional Japanese clothing. Impractical-looking as some pieces may look, Though some of it may look impractical, the collection showed a taste for risk-taking—uncommon currency at heritage houses of this vintage. We’ll be watching what happens next.

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