Rosie Assoulin takes “normal” into new realms at New York Fashion Week AW17

One of this season’s eleven Swarovski Collective designers, as well as the winner of the 2016 Swarovski Collective Award and the 2015 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, Rosie Assoulin’s star has risen rapidly since she launched her eponymous brand four years ago. Her ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, debuting at New York Fashion Week on February 13, has confirmed her as a game changer.

It’s the way she manages to transform even the most normal of items, simultaneously lifting daywear into the intoxicating realm of high glamour, while relaxing eveningwear without ever dressing it down. Her voluminous silhouettes achieve elegance, never tipping into the vulgarity of over-indulgence—and always with those signature surreal touches. Just as Salvador Dali famously made Mae West’s lips into a sofa, here, Assoulin dressed her models with a “furniture” flourish. Look closely at the shoes (her first solo footwear collection), with wooden heels hand-turned to look like table legs. There’s a jacket with its back buttoned like an upholstered chair. Then, one after the other down the runway, came fabrics you might find in an upholsterer’s swatch book: chintzes, damasks, jacquards, plaids and tweeds. Highpoints were crystallized prints in damask patterns so elaborate that they had to be pieced together by hand before being applied to silk dresses, tops and wide-leg pants. Playing with scale and patchworks of color, she lavished over 720,000 crystals in rich hues of Fern green, Red Siam, Blue Opal, and Amethyst on her garments. This was an evolution from last season’s crystal-embellished rugby-shirt dress. Even sweaters were generously crystallized. Finally, surely the prettiest idea to be seen among all the shows: gowns displaying real flowers pressed between layers of white silk!

Images by Dan Lecca & Eli Schmidt