Long, clean white silhouettes were Stephane Rolland’s first words this Fall/Winter 2012/13 season, softly introducing the minimal purity that would follow. Each one with a special detail: a long cape, crystalline forms growing on the upper arms, and leather fringe over the shoulders of cut away sleeves introduced the range of design themes for the collection. But before looking at the embellishments, it is the structures underneath that showed the real bones of the collection. Cut out panels and ergonomic color blocking recalled the curvaceous natural designs of Alvar Aalto’s furniture, and rich textures in contrast materials have the layered effect of Verner Panton’s lamps.
With very little black or color, white, beige, and shades of caramel-y brown were predominant. Recalling the natural palette of Aalto’s furniture. Much like the ergonomic designs of his furniture, Rolland dressed the body with the same concern for its natural gestures, elegant and refined. Breaking the body up in two, the right side in black and the left side nude, the black wrapped around the waist, hugging the other draped panel against the body. Topped with a gold plated belt with a wooden insert at the front, the movement around the body was sculptural and abstract while still flattering and highlighting height and slender waist. Feather-sized pieces of chiffon were layered, wing-like, onto the back of an open back dress. More precisely secured panels of organza fanned out closely like lotus flowers on the bodice of a caramel gown, like the hundreds of pieces involved in making one of Panton’s lamps.
For Rolland, there is a level of intellectual development in his designs that comes from his approach to his sources of inspiration. He addresses design as a problem solver, making elegant garments that could rival any conversation piece in any room. Even in the restricted, natural color palette this season. Especially in this color palette. To buy a dress from Stephane Rolland is to invest in a piece of timeless design.
- Lee Anderson, Parisian Correspondent
Designer: Stephane Rolland
Designer website: www.stephanerolland.com