Christelle Kocher’s fall collection was the first since her Koché label joined forces with Renzo Rosso’s fashion group OTB, and it showed.
Set in a cavernous hall at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, the coed display had a nocturnal ambience, accentuated by the dingy lighting generated by floor projectors. It opened with one of her signature polo dresses, only done in black leather with dramatic leg-of-mutton sleeves.
Leveraging OTB’s expertise in denim through its flagship brand Diesel, Kocher had a field day with the material, sending out Canadian tuxedos galore. A patchwork shirt was paired with a skirt with a sweeping train, while those puffy sleeves were worked into a tight-fitting blouse tucked into a low-crotched pair of baggy jeans.
“I wanted it to be an evolution because this new partnership we have with Renzo is like a new beginning for the brand, with the opportunity to use high-quality manufacturers,” she said backstage. “It’s about how I can bring my personal touch to it through the cuts and embellishment.”
While a mosaic-style denim pant and skirt looked a little bulky, Kocher hit her stride with embroidered and embellished jeans, paired with a bodysuit studded with Swarovski crystals and topped with heaps of pearls and chains.
Layering plain jeans with tiered slips and oversize ruffled trains felt a bit forced, especially since the collection marked a commercial turn for the brand, known for its blend of sportswear with couture-inspired techniques. Those handmade flourishes were mostly absent this season.
Instead, the ANDAM prize winner offered variations on her signature patchwork dresses in soccer jersey and boudoir slip styles, alongside some intriguing new lace variations, used to great effect on a men’s jogging suit, and less successfully on a red lace slip that strayed into Frederick’s of Hollywood territory.
And what to make of the show finale? To the strains of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” a male and female model walked across the runway drenched in red light and started necking — a pure school disco moment. “It’s nice to introduce people and to spread a little love,” a giggly Kocher said backstage.
It was a worthy sentiment, but the label’s solar energy felt a little dimmed by the steamy vibe. Koché is known for its soccer-themed collaborations and its inclusive casts. Why not plant the denim flag in that fertile terrain?