On Wednesday the weather in Paris was terrible but for the seven or so minutes that Marco Zanini showed his SS13 collection for Rochas, we were transported to a hot day in the 1950s.
The sunglasses were retro, something that we've seen a lot of in Paris, but it worked well with the streamlined silhouettes that Zanini used to open the show. Polo tops that were tucked into over the knee length pencil skirts, nipped in at the waist, were nothing new but somehow worked. The oversized shapes that served as an alternative to the clean lines, worked too. Stomach-baring cropped tops were teamed with volumous skirts that were given a relaxed, modern twist teamed with white leather boxing boots.
The star of the show was a red and black strapless evening dress that petered out from the waist, which will no doubt get its red carpet debut very soon.
Marco Zanini's collection at Rochas moved away from movie references this season and instead, the pottery of Swedish artist Wilhelm Kage served as the starting point. This translated onto a collection that was full of geometric contrasting prints and despite Zanini calling the combinations a 'certain disregard for quiet good taste', it really worked.
His latest offerings were a lot more desirable and in tune with what people want to wear compared to the formal fifties theme that he showed for spring. The clashing prints - particularly on shirts tucked into high waisted skirts - isn't for the faint hearted but will undoubtedly be seen on the backs of the fashion pack at the shows next season. On the more wearable looks, the prints were toned down by teaming them with simple pieces like a textured skirt or simple ribbed knits. Colour-wise there was everything you could ask for from a fall collection like rich goldish-browns, navys and autumnal green.
I wasn't a big fan of the S/S11 Rochas collection last season with the pyjamas style pieces so I was pleasantly suprised by Marco Zanini's fall offerings. This season the collection began with Zanini wanting to channel all things chic and explore what the concept means to him.
This materialised on a collection that played with both classic tailoring as well as ultra feminity. Peach satin dresses came in beautiful floor length styles on models with flawless skin with barely there make-up. On the tailoring side, navy suits came with a quirky side button detail and a handful of knit round neck tops stood out teamed with printed tailored trousers that had a Miu Miu-like quality about them.
The colour palette was largely muted and mainly consisted on navys and blacks but Zanini also introduced a head-to-toe pink look and the end of the collection was dominated with fresh looking white dresses.
If there is one world that sums up Marco Zanini's S/S11 offerings for Rochas, it has to be 'variety'. "It's personal, a melting pot of all I love," he told Style.com before the show and this was very clear. The collection didn't appear to be to have a clear source of inspiration although it was apparent that Zanini did explore his Swedish roots.
In one instance he showed beautiful floral prints on silk separates in bright colours and then in the next, he presented dramatic dresses that were volumous at the hip in both white and printed styles - think antique crockery and you're almost there. Prints and colour aside, rustic shades of brown appeared on the sleeves of off-white dresses and on simple over the knee styles teamed with thigh high black socks and head kerchiefs, hinting at a country feel.
The sheer black maxi dresses and prints - courtesy of Swedish artist Slotts Barbro - worked but the lack of focus often detracted away from these great moments.
Marco Zanini's first collection for Rochas didn't come out with a bang. Instead, the designer gave us a taste of the '30s, with dignified shirt dresses, simple trousers, mid-calf skirts and sweet little day shorts. The prints were a bit Dries van Noten, with rich solids of mulberry, lemongrass, teal and caramel.
Zanini wanted to bring out the French colonial spirit, he told the New York Times. "What is French apart from the Eiffel Tower?" he said. "I didn’t want a cliché, so I looked East, to the colonies, to Indochine."
Our favourites were the nuanced touches - a flower on a belt, a muted ribbon on a hat - that took the collection to the next level. Mr Zanini's going places, we say.