In his second season for Rochas after a brief stint at Halston, Marco Zanini seems to be finding his voice, presenting a strong spring collection with a bit more personality than last season’s solemn debut. In a marked departure from his predecessor Olivier Theyskens, the designer delivered what the label has asked for — extremely wearable clothes that still reflect the sophisticated and very French aesthetic of the historic brand. For the collection, Zanini re-imagined French colonial Indochina around the 1940s. Exuberant aubergine, paprika, saffron, lemon, teal, indigo and chocolate spiced up the relaxed silhouettes, turquoise chrysanthemums bloomed out of belts, and botanical landscapes of lily ponds captured the region’s surroundings. Ladylike ensembles were paired with ankle socks, flat strappy sandals and straw boaters for an effortless, slightly offbeat look. One could imagine Marguerite Duras’ teenage heroine from The Lover in the coquettish drawstring bloomer rompers and sheer blouses layered over retro day bras, while a puckered knit sheath and slouchy cropped trousers topped with a mannish blazer were more like Catherine Deneuve in Indochine. Although not as groundbreaking as Theyskens work, Zanini showed great promise in this collection, skillfully taking influences and molding them in a way that still retains his own design aesthetic as well as the brand’s.
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