Alessandra Rich is no longer the hidden jewel she was just a few seasons ago when she showed her intoxicating gauche-glam collection by appointment out of a boutique hotel. She’s upgraded to mini shows at fabulous Parisian apartments, choosing a Jacques Garcia-decorated duplex in the 16th for her fall collection. Big retailers, big editors and big influencers tripping over each other to be photographed in Rich’s floral dresses from last season were seated around the velvet and animalia-clad rooms with painted ceilings.
Rich has been mining the fantasy side of the Eighties long before nouveau-nouveau riche reclaimed its broad-shouldered, rhinestoned and ruched perch this season. The trend caught up with her brand of tongue-in-cheek glamour, making her lineup feel very on point. She called it Mirage. “You can see a mirage, but it’s not there,” said Rich after the show. “This is about a woman called Mirage — she’s someone who’s in the scene, she comes and goes, does what she wants, but she wants to be a little bit unknown. Nobody even knows her real name.” By day, she swans around in a purple off-the-shoulder cropped mohair sweater over silk harem pants in red leopard print, sheer black stockings, pastel satin pumps and a knit headband in case there’s a chill. By night, she has a closet full of get-ups suitable for painting the town: an emerald-green liquid satin dress that falls from its peaked shoulders to drape and gather over her curves; a teeny, tiny black lace slip dangling with sequins, cinched with a rhinestone heart belt and short enough to make a figure skater blush. Her booties are red or green satin with bows at the toes. Her bags are dyed to match. Her earrings graze her shoulders. She’s a mirage that you see and never forget.