Stéphane Rolland Couture Fall 2020

Mimosa Spencer

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With the world gripped by uncertainty, Stéphane Rolland thought he would propose a new aesthetic. 

“I did a collection that remains pure, graphic, architectural, but with a construction based more on comfort, like a cocoon — but ultra sophisticated,” is how he described it. 

Hopping to the challenge of presenting on a screen, the designer drew influence from Denise Glaser’s “Discorama,” a popular French television show from the Sixties and Seventies, known for intimate camera shots — and conversations — in a nearly empty studio. 

It was an effective backdrop for the looks, 11 in total, shown on Nieves Álvarez, who strode back and forth and around the space with only a hovering spotlight or two as props. Álvarez was accompanied with Seventies-cinematic music, with the occasional burst of saxophone, or a sudden crescendo of organ music, adding drama to the more spectacular pieces — like a slinky, body-hugging dress in stretchy black crepe with oversize ruffles jutting off a mostly-bare back and running down one side.

“You can tell a story with 10 looks like you can tell a story with 40 — it’s not the number that counts, it’s the message you transmit,” he explained. 

It was a story of capes, hoods, sheath dresses, curved bustiers shielding the chest Wonderwoman style, harem-pant jumpsuits and hand-blown glass embellishments that fanned across a bosom like a tiara. There were no prints, but sprinkles of glass beads and crystals added texture. Infused with nostalgia, the collection was both playful and luxurious — in the lounge-around-looking-sultry sense. 

The designer said he had been careful not to overdo things, and sought to produce the film in a measured way, without excessive costs.

“Not knowing what the future holds, I have to think of the company, of my employees,” he said, noting the house employs 25 people in France. “We’re asking ourselves a lot of questions about the future of society, the economic climate. We have to be more creative — and this is good.”

Launch Gallery: Stéphane Rolland Couture Fall 2020

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