The good vibes emanating from Rosie Assoulin, the designer and the collection, are undeniable. She has a fervent fan-base among the young, peppy and stylistically ambitious digital persona set, and, increasingly, the fashion establishment. Assoulin took home this year’s CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, which is a popularity contest.
Her spring presentation, set in a drained public pool in the West Village, displayed this magnetic spirit full tilt, the models positioned under the blaring sun (as dressers sprayed them down in sunscreen) in a rainbow of plucky, punchy get-ups that collectively resembled a wacky Barbie-dream wardrobe. There were overalls for day, dramatic gowns for night and bathing suits for implausible poolside glamour. The women who wear this stuff like to play dress up.
Updates on Assoulin’s modern funhouse cotillion gowns came in single-shoulder styles and two-pieces, voluminous evening pants and off-shoulder wrap tops. She couldn’t put her finger on one inspiration, but said that the trompe l’oeil bikinis — a sequined style worn over a button-down shirt, for example, and a triangle top spliced and cut out on a tomato-red outfit — came from her own desire to wear a bikini while being totally covered up. If those styles felt like pretend, the sense of fun was real, as were some of the clothes. A clean white apron dress with straps lined with studded candy-colored snaps was adorably chic and practical too: the straps were adjustable.