“We were sad, too,” said Laurence Chandler, who designs Rochambeau with Joshua Cooper. Chandler was referring to their recent loss. The design team competed in the Woolmark Prize collection recently and pulled out all of the stops for their collection — collaborating with Nike, Avery Denison and more on the line. “But we won in so many ways. We met retailers who didn’t have us on their radar and built relationships with some wool manufacturers.”
Collaboration was also at the forefront of their fall collection, and they worked directly with singer, composer and visual artist Mark Mothersbaugh. “I find it so much more interesting to work with artists directly on something instead of just saying, ‘the collection was inspired by so and so,'” said Chandler.
The fall collection was rooted in New York City, a signature for the brand, and punk — a recurring theme this season. “We wanted our guy to look like he just left a Black Flag concert,” said Chandler.
Rochambeau’s take on punk involved color and texture. Models wore chunky corduroy trousers, tweed overalls, and mesh tops — some wore mesh face masks embellished with safety pins. The designers used coral, tangerine, teal, cobalt and navy, which was impactful on striped and color block knits along with trench coats. The silhouette was oversized with cropped shirts and turtlenecks. Each of these items were decorated with paint drips and Mothersbaugh illustrations — the back of a shirt read “Stay Alive – But, No Dice!”
One of the most intriguing parts of the collection — aside from the modern dancers in white face masks feigning insanity as models walked by — were the classic men’s wear pieces that Rochambeau rendered cool. There was the chalky, pin stripe trousers and Blazers with perfectly rounded shoulders, and the houndstooth coat that had just the right amount of volume.
Rochambeau has evolved since launching as a mostly streetwear-focused line a few years ago and this collection showed a nice progression.