For his eighth couture collection, former creative director of Balenciaga, Stephane Rolland, gathered guests at the recently renovated Radio France building. With an impressively long catwalk and floor to ceiling glass windows displaying a view of the Parisian skyline, the packed-out show listened as proceedings commenced with a full-length interview of Rolland discussing couture with French broadcaster Viviane Blassel.
With architecture evidently underpinning previous collections, SS15 proved structure was the essence of Rolland’s work. In reconstructing fabrication, new silhouettes grant new freedom for the body.
In a seemingly weightless and serenity-infused display of dresses and figure hugging jumpsuits, the multitude of fabrics detailed Rolland’s dedication to redesign.
Extravagant external shapes and fluid cape dresses contrasted against slim, tailored jumpsuits, further resonating with voluminous ballgowns featuring sheer and transparent bodysuits.
A sleeveless black draped bustier top that exploded into a stiff sideways ruffle at the back, and tops that were totally sheer at the back, demonstrated lightness and excellent reconstruction technique, along with a ballgown emblazoned with leather studs, which avoided infusing contrasting heaviness.
With a desire to evoke lightness, the collection exuded pure glamour, drama and elegance with volume and texture key signifiers.
Having previously said colour comes second to black and white in his collections, fishtail gowns and heavy appliqué ruffles added an extra sense of buoyancy in a warming palette of mocha, nude, white, bronze, champagne and black.
Explosions of gypsophilas extended from shoulders with careless abandon and liquid lashings of metallic fabric marked the border of cut-out sections.
Dresses with voluptuous sheer petticoats revealed the structure of their astonishing crinolines in transparent gauze and acted as the foundation for embroidered gypsophilas, while large layered hems, featuring curved appliqué motifs in gold lacquer and silver latex, made the audience feel like part of a noble ball.
Not as vivid as previous collections, here playing with shape surpassed the need for colour as Rolland designed for a lady of sophistication.