BLURRED LINES: Charles de Vilmorin has provided the first glimpse of his debut collection for Rochas since being named creative director of the French heritage brand in February.
In an arty video shot in the garden of a lakeside villa, the designer showcased looks from his cruise 2022 collection including a blue coat with wide sleeves and buttons down the front, and a red tartan dress with lacing details. Prints and ruffles featured prominently, though the looks were kept deliberately blurry to entertain suspense.
It marked a departure from the designer’s signature line, which tends toward extreme shapes and color, with items like patchwork quilted jackets and hourglass dresses with exaggerated breasts, inspired by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
Rochas has decided not to release a full look book of the collection, which arrives in stores in November, preferring instead to wait until September, when it hopes to stage a full presentation of de Vilmorin’s spring 2022 collection to mark his official debut for the house, a spokesman for the label said.
The 24-year-old’s appointment was the culmination of a meteoric rise, beginning with the launch of his fashion label in April 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Known for his colorful paintings tinged with darkness, he is one of the nine finalists for this year’s edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers.
De Vilmorin said he was familiar with the Rochas brand from a young age — his great-aunt, French novelist Louise de Vilmorin, knew Hélène Rochas, the widow of founder Marcel Rochas, who drove the international expansion of the company’s perfume empire after his death.
“Rochas is a brand that holds a special place in my heart, due to both deep personal family ties and the label’s heritage, which I find so rich and inspiring,” he said. “I can’t wait to bring my personal touch and reinterpret the codes of this beautiful maison.”