ROCHAS: Birth of a New Dialogue
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January 20, 2017
By Marcellous L. Jones
Photos Courtesy of Rochas
Paris, France – French fashion house Rochas introduces us this season to its first veritable menswear collection. In it we find a rare universe in which couture and quest for minute details meets and marries a man’s world in which comfort is driven by sleek street appeal and statement pieces.
According to Beatrice Ferrant, the artist director of the menswear division, the collection is about peace and love. In bringing this new Fall Winter 2017/18 collection together, she envisioned the image of a dancer as the principal inspiration. She worked quietly for nearly a year to acclimate herself in the world of menswear and by plunging herself into the codes for which Rochas is revered. Through them, her dancer has the freedom to simply “be”.
Ferrant’s thoughtfulness is clear to the eye upon observing the rich materials. She is using silk cashmere yarns to create the sweaters and silk jersey for other tops. There is a patchwork of sculptures done in the silk tulle used in the creation of her bolero. Worn over the sweaters, it adds more dimensions to the picture. There is also the special wool sweater with chunky details that has been done over silk tulle. One can easily pair these pieces with the couture-embroidered jeans that have been especially created in France. One finds embroidered leather pieces too that have been made in Italy. This results in masculine silhouettes that are easy to understand.
One of the most compelling elements is the “Rock Rochas”. This effect results from fabrics being transformed in a way that makes them resemble an aerial view of mountains. Madame Ferrant applies this element to two pieces in the collections such as a simple, black jersey T-Shirt in silk jersey with long sleeves. She also has created what she calls an everyday jacket in jacquard. As part of its individual details, this sportswear piece easily translates into night attire. As for its individual details, it enjoys having its pockets lined in leather.
Madame Ferrant has created for Rochas a lacquered coat in stretch denim. Due to the elaborate nature of its details such as its “Eiffel Tower” buttons and the stitch-over-fabric embroideries, it would be extremely difficult to copy by the redoubtable fast-fashion retailers. And if one were to see the clever queue-de-pie trousers elsewhere, one would know that they began at Rochas!
Through research an innovation, Rochas provides stylish outerwear that gets around the temperaments of nature. For example the collection proposes an exciting large parka in waterproof satin. In terms of details we find large utility pockets. And needlepoint is used to create a large parka with a silk satin collar and with four pockets. Its cut can seemingly be altered in appearance thanks to an adjustable elastic satin band that has been hidden on the inside of the coat.
The true strength of this collection lies not only in what the naked eye can see, but rather in what only discriminating tastes can recognize. The details such as coppers threads are used each in only one or two pieces instead of being copied throughout the collection. For example, when one looks at the short-cropped blazer in black, one sees strong tailoring. However one observes that the origami line on the back of the shoulders is perfectly aligned with the one found on the back of the jacket’s collar. In seeing this only then can one appreciate the difficulty that went into making the complex appear as simple as drawing a circle.
Other discrete details include the Rochas emblem of “double R” facing each other. It is embroidered and is used as a subtle reminder of the quest for luxury. The Rochas labels are also done in silk.
And though one may not expect it, Rochas’s menswear line is also subtly engaging in sustainability so that waste is minimalized. Madame Ferrant used modern technologies to design and control the making of the pieces and the details such as the embroideries. Due to the use of technology, she was able to control every aspect from creation to production of the garments.
“You know that I am a business woman in addition to being a designer”, said she in exclusive comments to TheFashionInsider.com. “Thanks to these experiences, I conceive and produce each piece in the collection. I use modern software even in designing how the materials will be used. This way I know that we are being very clever in the sense that we are not wasting money or materials.“
With the arrival of Beatrice Ferrant as Creative Director of the Menswear, Rochas has fully announced its intensions to shake up global luxury. She effortlessly translates her vast experience in haute couture into the wardrobe of the Rochas man. Thanks to her vision and Rochas’s DNA, an formidable force has been born.