Rochas A/W 2015. Photo credit: Marcus Tondo /

Rochas is celebrating its 90th anniversary this season, which is saying something, and to celebrate Alessandro dell’ Acqua drops back to the label’s 1930 collection and comes up with an understated palette of earth tones that almost feels as though one is stuck in a sepia-toned photograph from the period. Even the pops of yellow are not quite as bright, giving the collection a bit of an antique feel despite the updated silhouettes. At times, especially through the first ten or so looks, I found myself rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn’t in some kind of dream.

Dell’ Acqua leans heavily on motifs from the brand’s lush history.  At the heart is a flying bird pattern similar to what Marcel Rochas used in 1934, reimagined in several different pieces, none more glorious than white print on sheer black chiffon. That one piece alone makes this collection a prime example of dell’ Acqua’s masterfulness in taking something historical and keeping it fresh.

Chantilly lace, its very presence one that breathes with history, also gets the dell’ Acqua treatment and again is at its best when it is most sheer. Yes, one is going to need sufficient undergarments to wear these dresses in public, but even with a full slip or other garment underneath the effect is still a stunning mix of old and contemporary. Don’t be too surprised if you find yourself staring.

Other pieces of the 1930s are included, such as very wide belts (which have been enjoying a bit of a comeback of late anyway), and high, ruffled necklines which, interestingly enough, have been somewhat of a trend this season. We all know fashion repeats itself regularly, but how convenient it is that these elements would come back just in time for the Rochas anniversary!

Not quite everything works. The fur external pockets seem like ragged patches on otherwise pristine dresses. One crushed velvet top is uncharacteristically broad and bulking in the midst of a collection that stays relatively trim. While beautiful, one might need to exercise caution when walking in the impressively thin stilettos. Even with those minor distractions, though, this is still

Even with those minor distractions, though, this is still a Rochas celebration that does a good job paying homage to the label’s storied history of elegance. True beauty is timeless and Alessandro dell’ Acqua shows us that truly artistic fashion never goes out of style.

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