There’s no question that Rosie Assoulin is known for charming, sophisticated clothes that often seem like the fashion equivalent of art. Her aesthetic M.O. leans toward the quirky side of high-end design, where statement pieces can seem straight out of a really chic storybook. It draws you in, and gets you to romanticize about fanciful places most people will probably never go. Just look at the dreamy painting-come-to-life floral ballgown she showed at her fall presentation-slash-wine-pairing event, or the equally celebratory ones in joyous saturated tones.  

But the collection had a through line of reality that reined in the fantasy in favor of, dare we say it, casual daywear. Casual in the sense that there were a lot of approachable and wearable silhouettes, and daywear because you’d want to wear it all the time, not because there was a lack of interest. On the contrary, Assoulin delivered on styles both optimistic and grounded that felt authentic to the brand.

She injected an artful quality by heightening subversive design elements. Wrapping and ties were a common theme that ran the gamut from the decorative (the faux leather strips on linen-like pants; the ties of a mixed plaid dress), to the conceptual (like the built-in shawls of a plaid blazer or impossibly cool trench that gave the illusion of a sweater slung over the shoulders). Wide-leg pants that had the appearance of built-in contrast overskirts were notable for balancing drama and an eclectic sensibility. “Isn’t that amazing?” Assoulin asked when walking past one pair that was styled simply with an open button-down. It really was.

In addition to wearable items like a baby alpaca sweater with a hand-felted stained-glass motif and mixed-plaid utility pants, she showed a range of youthful evening pieces, including a yellow dress with one intentional seductively falling sleeve and crisp satin cut into a twisted green top and cargo pants. She made one provocative dress with the appearance of a bra and corset because, “sometimes you look better in your underwear than you do in clothes.” Accented by a stellar range of peep-toe booties and brogues, the overall effect was undeniably playful, cool, luxe and wearable.

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