“No rules, just fun” is the mantra that constantly guides Alessandra Rich in her creative process, which often results in a zesty cocktail that combines the pretty, the sexy and the tough, with a spritz of playfulness on top.
If the brand’s sensual and provocative spring 2023 collection showed one of these elements taking over the others, for pre-fall the designer recalibrated the ingredients to deliver an appealing lineup that was split between her signature prim and preppy dresses for the (young) Ladies Who Lunch and punkish looks in micro proportions.
Both parts were convincing. Besides the feminine frocks with Peter Pan collars, puffed shoulders and bow details that have become recognizable of the brand, Rich conveyed romance with slipdresses and skirts crafted from patchworks of different floral prints, polka-dot patterns and lace inserts. Monochromatic options in pastel-toned satin with ruffles and ruched details added to the girly offering, while eveningwear in metallic jersey or black velvet had a more seductive appeal with its body-hugging silhouette and corsetry-like inner construction.
The lingerie inspiration surfaced in a pink moiré cropped blouse and skirt that introduced the more rebellious side of the Rich woman, opening to a plethora of miniskirts in tartan, leather or denim, and matching blazer or biker jackets punctuated by crystals and studs. To temper the unapologetic attitude of the extra-short hemlines, Rich paired these pieces with cute preppy cardigans in looks that could have suited “Gossip Girl”‘s Jenny Humphrey to a T.
For a fresher take on the theme, Rich also played with a new silhouette, pairing bodices with long skirts. Rendered in different fabrics — from denim to tweed enriched with Lurex threads — the ensemble shone in the checkered version that opened the collection, which was photographed at Rich’s Milan offices.
“We wanted to show it here, where all the different identities of the AR woman are created,” said the designer. As a reminder to customers to express themselves freely and fiercely, Rich added a playful, final touch with the “BeAR” claim and a teddy bear motif that popped up on fuzzy sweaters or dangled from spiky chokers.