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At Rochas, Musing on Gala Dalí

Alessandro Dell'Acqua's Gala Dalí-inspired collection was missing the lightness of spirit and sense of humour that a brand like Rochas needs to feel contemporary.
Rochas Spring/Summer 2016 | Source: Indigital
By
  • Angelo Flaccavento

PARIS, France — What's up with muses? Are they really relevant to the contemporary fashion conversation? More and more, given fashion's on-going obsession with individuality, anchoring the theme of a collection to a well-defined personality looks like a winning strategy and a terrible narrowing at the same time. In talking about one woman, isn't a designer in danger of appealing only to one kind of customer? Of course, it works when a designer is able to see an entire world inside one woman, but it happens rarely.

Today, Alessandro Dell'Acqua dedicated the Rochas collection to Gala Dalí, the iconic wife, inspiration, sidekick and partner in crime to artist Salvador Dalí. She had quite a baroque and surreal sense of style and self-decoration, and was known for her greedy managing of her husband's career. At first, as an inspiration for a Rochas collection, it sounded a bit outlandish and off-kilter. Then again, apart from baroque jewels and a few giraffe embroideries, there was no direct reference to Dalí in the succession of layered dresses, double camisoles, brocade coats and slim pantsuits that appeared on the runway.

Clearly, Dell'Acqua is in a lightening up mode. The clothes were a lot more airy and a lot less over styled than they used to be, which, of course, is a kind of progress. Yet, it wasn't enough: the shapes had something contrived and unflattering about them, which took away the poetry.

So far, Dell'Acqua has done a scrupulous job. Maybe a tad too scrupulous. His constant referencing of couture shapes, at this point, should be over. What's missing is the lightness of spirit and impalpable sense of humour that a brand like this needs to feel contemporary. Dell'Acqua is up and ready for the challenge. But he needs to be more daring.

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