Maybe all designers should have such a smooth sendoff. No heads rolling and suddenly dropping off the radar: Alessandro Dell’Acqua, after six years designing for Rochas, announced in December he will be leaving and focusing on No. 21, the brand he designs out of Milan, and that his fall 2020 collection would be his last for the house.
The mood was softly celebratory backstage. “It’s been a very good experience, but it’s OK to stop now,” said the designer, showing his last collection to reporters in utter serenity. It’s rare to witness a designer being able to fully — and publicly — close the circle.
For his last bow, Dell’Acqua chose to revisit some of his key creations for Rochas. “I didn’t want anything melancholic or nostalgic,” he stressed, gesturing to the zingy colors of his silhouettes: bright orange, purple, sky blue, pale pink.
There were the billowy ruffled shirtdresses he has become synonymous with — an ultraviolet wool shirtdress looked killer paired with embellished platform boots — as well as elaborate embroideries dotted along the way, from the jade beading on the sleeve of a simple cream silk dress to a fully decorated black cropped jacket, covered with gold motifs.
Some of the pieces were definitely on the showy side — a black coat made of fuzzy fringed polyester, a pale pink coat with fil coupé embroideries — but the strongest looks were the simplest: a cropped orange wool jacket with rounded shoulders worn over a matching suit, a long black silk dress with a high neck and billowing sleeves.
The collection was a bit eclectic, in the way that greatest hits albums are: a gray wool doubled cashmere suit looked almost austere next to the vibrant orange and purple looks. But it all made sense: it was both a retrospection and a joyful sendoff filled with energetic party looks.