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Dell'Acqua's debut at Rochas opens Paris shows

'Romance meets noir in a liaison dangereuses'

27 February, 17:42
Dell'Acqua's debut at Rochas opens Paris shows (By Elisa Cecchi) (ANSA) - Rome, February 27 - Italy's Alessandro Dell'Acqua used powerful words to describe his first collection for Rochas Wednesday in Paris - romance and noir, intertwined in a "liaison dangereuses". It was a striking endeavour by the 52-year-old Neapolitan designer with rich fabrics and bold silhouettes vying for a grandeur befitting couture, which opened the women's fall 2014 fashion shows in Paris.

The designer has over the past four years won over a cult following with his highly wearable, chic and artsy N.21 label following a 20-year-long career including stints with top Italian fashion houses such as Brioni and Malo.

Then in September Dell'Acqua was hired to fill Marco Zanini's shoes after the Italian designer made such a success of Rochas that he landed the sought-after role of reviving the Schiaparelli brand.

And Dell'Acqua's debut on Wednesday followed in the footsteps of his predecessor's more recent collections in terms of bold shapes and a penchant for rich brocades and velvets while showing his strong and modern hand in designing the future direction of the prestigious French fashion house.

Silhouettes were ample and strong yet flattering, with a very modern take on femininity played up by a layering game of coats and gowns in a palette embracing soft shades of pink and camel.

Two winter coats were layered over each other in a number of looks.

Polo dresses and elegant statement gowns were layered over other dresses.

The effect was never bulky, with A-line silhouettes hugging the shoulders and upper body.

Austerely simple blouses were tucked into stunning, long brocade skirts.

The solemnity of such rich clothing was always played down by a quirky touch, like bat-shaped glasses replicating those of the label's founder Marcel Rochas, or long, coloured gloves.

In one look, light blue gloves were matched with a bejewelled jacket over a shiny skirt.

The mixture of fabrics was elaborate - rich velvets, chiffons and brocades - with opulent contrasts.

"I tried to evoke a typically French attitude of Rochas in a more contemporary style, less retro and more decisive" for a woman who is "less sweet and romantic and more confident," said Dell'Acqua.

Dell'Acqua's debut on Wednesday paved the way to other fall 2014 ready-to-wear collections designed by high-profile Italian designers to be presented in Paris.

Sunday will be the day of Riccardo Tisci, who as creative director of Givenchy since 2005 has always staked his career on challenging fashion's status quo.

A day later, another Italian who has made in Paris will step under the limelight. When he created his label in 2005 after working at Emanuel Ungaro, Giambattista Valli won over a new generation of European socialites as a young designer making unapologetically happy, romantic clothes.

He was also the first designer in years to make a breakthrough in the tight-knit world of couture.

On Monday, the Rome-born Valli will be presenting his ready-to-wear line.

So will another strong Italian talent, the versatile Fausto Puglisi.

After showing his own brightly coloured collection in Milan last week, with tough-chic clothes inspired by diverse artists like Kazimir Malevich, Sonia Delaunay and the Ballets Russes, Puglisi will be sending down the Parisian catwalk his collection for Emanuel Ungaro.

Leading Italian fashion duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli will present the Valentino collection on Tuesday while Miuccia Prada's Miu Miu will wrap up the Paris shows on Wednesday, the day of the much-awaited debut of Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton.

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