Paris 03/03/10 Getty
>> Bianca Balti opened in what turned out to be a very '60s-drawn Rochas collection by Marco Zanini. Teased flippy hair, shift dresses, exaggerated pointy collars, and acid hues were punctuated by leopard print and gold lame on bags and the elbow shields of cardigans. Zanini said he was inspired by a Goldie Hawn movie, Cactus Flower — perhaps explaining the floral bow motif carrying throughout. The finale, a crowd of models showered in a psychedelic mix of colored lights.
>> Marco Zanini's new, more commercial interpretation at Rochas was so well-received last season, he kicked off Paris Fashion Week this morning, taking his designs to the runway for the first time under the label. Anna Wintour was front row for the '40s-inspired collection with below-the-knee hemlines: Zanini said he wanted to get away from classic Parisian fashion, and instead imagined "a young woman going to a boarding school in Saigon."
The reception seems to be positive, if a bit unenthused. T's Anne Christensen deemed it "not what I expected but nice"; the AP concluded that Zanini made "a strong case for [Rochas's] resurrection"; Cathy Horyn called it "interesting, unhurried . . . I sensed [Zanini] was doing his version of French sportswear, perhaps inspired by the Rochas legacy"; and WWD noted that the collection had similarities to Dries van Noten's work, but "Zanini seems to have plenty of ideas and enough technical skill to put Rochas somewhere on the map."
>> Rochas Going Back to Runway for Spring 2010 —After Rochas's first collection since reopening — for Fall 2009 under the hand of Marco Zanini — was so well-received, owner Gibo has decided to bring the label back to the runway. The Fall 2009 collection was presented as an installation at an art gallery in the Marais, and for Spring 2009 — reflecting a huge vote of confidence for the label and Zanini — Rochas will effectively kick off Paris Fashion Week at Musée de l'Homme. [FWD]
>> It was a surprise when Rochas reopened ready-to-wear for Fall 2009, just two years after unceremoniously closing down its fashion brand, leaving only a line of fragrances. But it turns out those fragrances, moneymakers though they are, are part of the reason the clothes are back — without the fashion, a brand runs the risk of losing relevance. "Fragrances have only a certain shelf life," says Robert Burke, an investment consultant and former Bergdorf Goodman executive, told The Wall Street Journal. "Fragrances are generally successful when they're connected to a living person."
So far, Marco Zanini's revival of the label has been well-received — Style.com's Nicole Phelps called his first collection for Fall 2009 "a promising start," and WWD ruled, "So far, so good." But now is not the best time to restart a luxury brand — Christina Binkley of The Wall Street Journal noted that while she was in the Paris showroom for an hour during Fashion Week, she spotted only one buyer looking the collection over. Ken Downing, fashion director at Neiman Marcus, says he picked up the collection, meanwhile, and named it as one of his favorites from Paris Fashion Week, because it "had great late-day and dinner dressing."
- In addition to Calvin Klein in New York, Prada in Milan, and Balenciaga in Paris, Givenchy has emerged as a fourth major-model-making platform due to the "increasing power of that show and campaign in giving new girls maximum visibility" [The Imagist]
- Thursday's Nina Ricci show "is almost universally agreed to be designer Olivier Theyskens's last collection" for the brand, and with the recent clash of his $15,000 gowns versus the label's commercial branding, will he give in and make retailers happy or go with his heart? [FWD]
- Hotly anticipated, Rose Cordero has only appeared at Burberry so far, but COACD seems to know something we don't . . . [COACD]
- Rochas is relaunching with Marco Zanini in charge; An insider who attended a preview last week "showed much enthusiasm for the line" [FWD]
- Is Balmain the new Balenciaga? It's Balmania out there: Christophe Decarnin's Spring 2009 glitzy '80s moment permeated Fall 2009 collections from New York to Milan, and his $1,500 jeans are still flying off the shelves, even in this economy [FWD]
Today's designer has to know where to focus their collaborative attention and beauty is a now viable option--Tracy Reese can boast a sixth nail polish collection for Sally Hansen.
Dasha Zhukova, an art gallerist, has been hired as Katie Grand's replacement at Pop magazine.
The Daily Beast dives into the fashion realm and offers a wrap up of London collection highlights.
Marco Zanini reveals his first collection for Rochas in the wake of the experimental Oliver Theysken days--make room for more cocktail dresses.
>> INSIDER WIRE —March 5 in Paris, Marco Zanini debuts 200 "soft and feminine" pieces for the new Rochas in his chosen format of presentation. Management doesn't want the newly-rescuscitated label to be another buzz-generating, status brand like during Olivier Theysken's money-losing tenure, and pricing has been slashed by 30 percent since Theyskens’ days to be on par with Prada. The Fall 2009 collection is divided among day, cocktail, and evening with plenty of slip-inspired garments; Unlike Theyskens, Zanini chose to go without any long dresses — he feels the short hem is more modern. [WWD]
>> The Olivier Theyskens-Nina Ricci saga continues: Sources are saying that Peter Copping, who met with Ricci owners two weeks ago, is in place to succeed as designer at Nina Ricci. No details could be determined on when the switchover would occur — Olivier is contracted until October, which means he could show up to two more collections for the label, but rumors of clashes between the designer and management also imply that he might leave sooner.
The main point of disagreement is understand to be management's expected commerciality of Olivier's designs — apparently his Spring 2009 collection didn't sell well, but Olivier still seems blase about paying attention the bottom line. The designer has a history of designing expensive pieces that, while eliciting editorial acclaim, don't always sell well — this was the case at Rochas before Nina Ricci.
Copping, on the other hand, hails from Louis Vuitton, where if nothing else, he's guaranteed a pedigree in how to make money with fashion — Louis Vuitton is not exactly known for losing money as both Ricci and Rochas did with Olivier at the helm. Copping sounds exactly like what the brass at Nina Ricci would be looking for right about now — plus, he's Marc Jacobs's right-hand man, and has the Central Saint Martins degree.