The setting for Stéphane Rolland’s spring couture presentation was an art gallery, his designs displayed like abstract sculptures around the white open space.
Referencing the studios of Brâncuși and Rodin, his register was mainly the off-white of plaster of Paris, worked into his typical architectural shapes in fabrics such as gazar with asymmetrical organza shapes like flames or the petals of the calla lily.
Most of the designs sat in this monochrome palette, some with touches of gold leaf that stiffened the fabric, turning an enlarged collar into an almost-hood on one A-line gown.
A couple of black designs — “like the line drawn with a pencil,” said the designer — also found their way into the collection, although one of the more minimal pieces, a flowing hooded robe, looked curiously like something worn by Grace Jones in her Bond villain days. The centerpiece, meanwhile, was a bright red voluminous creation belted with a giant bustle. The color represented passion, the designer said, showing that his own passion has no bounds.
“This summer collection is sculptural, eternal and timeless, but never rigid, either in time or space,” the show notes said. Rolland’s aesthetic is deeply rooted, although he continued in the more pared-back direction he has been taking in previous seasons. As abstract art, it made perfect sense. As clothing for women of the now, albeit couture, perhaps less so.