One of the more pedestrian activities surrounding fashion week in any city are the rumors that inevitably dominate conversation regarding who is getting fired or hired by whichever fashion house. Today, those rumors involve both coming and going at Rochas. The scuttlebutt has Rocha’s creative director Marco Zanini moving on to Schiaparelli and being replaced by Alessandro Dell’Acqua. No one had confirmed anything on either side, however, by the time the Rochas spring/summer 2014 line made its way down the catwalk this morning. Was this Zanini’s swan song for the label? We’ll have to wait to find out.

If this was Zanini’s last collection for Rochas, he certainly made sure he made it memorable, especially with the shoes. No, it’s not often shoes dominate a collection, but they do with this one because they’re covered with … feathers. In every direction. The effect is like someone stepped on one of Big Bird’s children. Of course, some people are raving about how genius the look is, but I promise you, wear these shoes anywhere outside New York, LA, or maybe San Francisco, and people are going to stare, point, and then laugh. At you, not with you.

The feathered slippers are a distraction from what is a very glamorous and wearable set of clothes. Pulling innumerable references and silhouettes from the 50s and 60s, Zanini presented a line so shimmery it was almost its own light source. Gold lame, rows of ruffles, crystal-laden chandelier necklaces,  and large floral prints make this a very attractive set of clothing. With a palette that stays on the soft side of pink, blue, green, and yellow pastels, there’s not a black ensemble to be found in the entire set. Zanini has infused his clothing with brightness and happiness, even if his models sometimes looked as though they had just escaped from a psychiatric facility.

One of the things that makes Zanini so attractive is that he creates collections that do well in retail stores, and it seems likely that this one will follow suit. Whether that trend continues with a new creative director we’ll have to wait to find out.

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