Even after covering Rosie Assoulin for many seasons, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what her brand is about. That’s not necessarily a criticism, just an observation. Her collections feel like explosions of nonlinear thoughts, the result of a giant free-association session where ideas morph and bleed into one thing after the other rather than a singular concept. The yield is always happy, exuberant and sophisticated clothes laden with thoughtful details. Assoulin’s fabrics are very fine; her finishes flaunt craft and the hand-touch. Yet while the collections reflect intense effort, there’s chaos to them, charming though it is.
Such was the case for fall, where a color-saturated marbling theme acted as the gravitational center of a lineup that also had crushed pleated eveningwear; a darling white ruffled cotton dress with folksy smocking around the waist, cuffs and neck; a pair of moss-green flared micro corduroy pants inspired by Giorgio Morandi still-lifes, and a Sixties go-go champagne gold silk shirtdress with Swarovki crystals in its orbit. That’s just a taste.
Assoulin found the marble theme — used on incredible scarf dresses, a gorgeous reversible quilted velvet puffer jacket, amorphous clay bracelets and jewelry that looked like marbles and jacks — while doing research at a library. “It went from there and didn’t stop, with colors and techniques and fluidity. It’s very inspiring, but also sucks you in,” she said, noting that there was much, much more than what was on display. Assoulin enjoys getting carried away. Her endless energy is infectious and it seeps into the clothes, whether a flamboyant pink and yellow taffeta look or a chic, scalloped black velvet number. The question is, would a little more focus spoil the fun?