After an eccentric runway debut for spring, the young designer Charles de Vilmorin approached his Rochas pre-fall collection thinking more about wearability. The clothes were more classically inclined, though sweetened with his natural inclination toward whimsy.
On a Zoom call, he said he looked at the heritage of the house along with photos of its founder, Marcel Rochas, and his wife, Hélène. One of Marcel’s jackets became a prototype for the delicately belted white style with rounded sleeves here, and a famous image of Hélène with a taxidermy bird perched on the bodice of her dress—so famous that Olivier Theyskens used it when he was at Rochas 16 years ago—informed the jacquard motif on a pair of cropped trousers. Another jacquard, which De Vilmorin applied to jackets and coats, lifted from Sonia Delaunay’s Alphabet—R for Rochas. “I love this artist,” he said. “I’m inspired by her direct message.” Exaggerated Pierrot collars were another one of his talking points, and the collection also had an outdoorsy streak that came through in walking shorts and riding boots.
There was quite a bit going on, and De Vilmorin’s disparate ideas didn’t really cohere into a clear message, but he’s learning as he goes.