Stephane Rolland offered his guests a zen contemplation of the Seine, as they waited for his show in the first floor concourse of the Maison de la Radio. But obviously, meditation practitioners were few and far between as the assembly fidgeted in anticipation. The throaty voice of veteran French chronicler Viviane Blassel, as immediately recognizable in the Gallic fashion scene as that of David Attenborough to nature lovers, broke the lull, in conversation with the couturier. "The impression that remains on my retina is of black and white," she offered, to which he replied "[it] is the backbone of my collections. Color comes second."
Showing that structure was the heart of Rolland's summer collection. From the first look, this much was clear, as was the couturier's desire to evoke lightness. To this end, his habitual sculptural technique served not only to produce striking full-skirted gowns in transparent gauze that revealed the structure of their crinolines, but also figure-skimming jumpsuits and cape dresses, flowing against every curve. Beyond black and white, terracotta tones echoed the skin seen beneath sheer panels. Embellishments followed the same course; leather cuts formed a spiny guard along the arms, yet did not bring heaviness; bursts of gypsophilias grew from shoulders in breathless abandon; liquid lashings of metallic fabric delineated cut-out sections.
Rolland designed confidently, playing with organic shapes, for a woman of utmost refinement. As for the clothes, they weren't as sharply controlled and visually exuberant as other collections, but that was the point: much of the allure came from interaction with the body. Imperfections, he muses at one point in the voiceover, grant character. But in his house, all is flawless.