You know those long strands of tinsel that you drape on and around trees at Christmas? Apparently someone left some out and Alessandro dell’Acqua got his hands on it. As a result, it is all over this fall/winter collection. Pair that will all the applique going on throughout the set and there were times I wasn’t sure if I was watching a fashion show or if a five year old had gotten hold of a glue gun and gone after Mom’s closet. The effect was pretty much the same either way one looks at it.

This is Alessandro dell’Acqua’s first collection for the storied Rochas house and as such it is understandable he would want to make a strong mark. He came along late enough in the planning process, however, that I would question just how many of the silhouettes are actually his versus his predecessor. Certainly, he has given all the looks his eccentric touch, but there is still enough similarity to what we saw both last spring and last fall that I won’t be surprised if we see a major difference between walk came down the catwalk this afternoon and what we see come September.

What I like about this collection is that the silhouettes are very full while not losing their feminity. Shoulders are rounded to a degree, yes, but we don’t see shoulder pads jutting out all over the place. These are clothes that will work for real women with real curves. Dell’Acqua’s attention to detail is very evident and there is embroidery and applique and bead work on practically every piece, all beautifully done and dramatic in its placement. Coats in this collection are absolutely delicious and warm and easy to fit into anyone’s wardrobe.

However, there are several curious moments along the way. Yes, we fully expect some eccentricities from dell’Acqua, and I’m willing to allow for that to a degree, but … Let’s take the red rubber gloves that come along with the first ensemble. Were I to meet a woman on the street dressed like this, I would think that perhaps the plumbing in her condo had suddenly gotten backed up without a super anywhere to be found. I would compliment her on her excellent taste in style and then hand her a plunger with my best wishes. At least those gloves look workable, though. When he wraps the black holiday tinsel around the gloves? Yeah, that’s a five-year-old with the glue gun moment right there. Call it haute couture if you want, I’m going to be sitting here giggling. Then, there’s the coat with the embroidered bats. Why bats, I don’t know. There aren’t bats anywhere else in the collection. They are very well done bats, to be sure, but it is an anomaly within the collection that doesn’t quite seem to fit. Colored appliqued stones are also a bit excessive in some of the pieces, which could make them a bit too busy and possibly downright dangerous if taken out in the sunlight.

None of those are really horrible attributes, though. Remember that dell’Acqua is still so new to the label they don’t even have his name on the web site yet. This isn’t a bad first attempt at all, and once it is pared back for production I’m sure it will be very popular. Still, I look forward to next season when dell’Acqua can truly call the collection his own.

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