Like other designers who have shown at the recently renovated Maison de la Radio in Paris, Stéphane Rolland could not resist including excerpts from radio programs in his show soundtrack. But in this case, a full-length interview of the designer acted as a running commentary for the catwalk display.
Rolland discussed the process of working with a couture client, and lapsed into pseudo-intellectual territory when talking about the personality of different fabrics. “Crepe is perfection. It flows on the body. It’s smooth as glass, and it’s very Cartesian,” he said. That Rolland should be fond of such an adjective, which refers to 17th-century philosopher René Descartes and is commonly used in France to denote methodical thinking, should come as no surprise: Architecture underpins his design process, and this collection was no exception.
There was a crisp white jumpsuit with a cape back and wide diamanté belt, similar to the one Solange Knowles wore for her wedding; a black draped bustier top that exploded into a stiff sideways ruffle in the back; and tops that were totally sheer in the back, except for a strip of white leather running down the spine.
Fishtail gowns laden with heavy appliqué ruffles had a familiar air, but Rolland also sought to introduce a new sense of lightness with sheer numbers, including a series featuring curved appliqué motifs in gold latex. With a palette of black, white, mocha and nude, they tapped into the current Seventies craze.
The finale was almost sober compared to the designer’s previous shows — one of which saw Yasmin Le Bon laboring down the catwalk in 49 yards of fabric. This time, Rolland sent out three dresses with huge crinolines so sheer, you could see the models’ underwear.