People pick up on some of the strangest things at fashion shows. The looks can be fantastic, the styling can be wonderfully unique, the fabrics may be new and exciting and what do people notice?

The socks have no heels.

Or the safety belt around the bust, made all the more humorous by the fact the model was an A cup.

Some days designers just don’t get any respect and if your name happens to be Allesandro Dell’Acqua sometimes those days turn into entire seasons. This is what happens when one tries to be a bit innovative with a house that has been around as long as Rochas. No matter how good one is, inevitably someone in the audience is going to whisper just a little too loudly, “was that girl wearing a bed skirt?”

I wish I was making that up. I really do.

The reality is that Dell’Acqua is putting an Asian spin on more traditional Western silhouettes. Think kimonos with collars. Think high folds and straight lines belted together … sometimes at the bust. Think silk jackets over long skirts. Getting the idea? What Dell’Acqua is creating is a merged aesthetic blending two extremely different cultures without slighting either. The result is quite impressive and very wearable.

Along the way, one will want to pay attention to the absolutely incredible detailing of the embroidery. These tiny flowers and birds are given such amazing texture and depth that they appear ready to almost leap off the garments. They are bright and colorful and the perfect look for spring. So, too, is the print that appears on a few pieces, embellished with sequins and flowing with an almost aquatic motion. Allesandro’s proclivity toward using copious amounts of lace does mean this is a very, very sheer collection, but even that is done tastefully with a sense of elegance. Dell’Acqua’s first spring/summer collection for the Rochas label is impressive with its creativity and understanding of opposing styles.

Unfortunately, all some people can see is the trivia. Yes, perhaps the fastener on the belting is similar to that used in a safety strap, and yes, they are positioned right at the bust line. If one understands fashion, though, one realizes that placement is not uncommon and the belted look is an Asian styling hundreds of years old. Bringing together Eastern and Western fashions as Dell’Acqua does here is one of the most exciting and original things we’ve seen in a season that has contained far too much sameness.

Allesandro Dell’Acqua was brilliant, fresh, and admirably creative with this Rochas collection. I hope he continues to explore this merging of East and West, for I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Even if he takes the toes off the socks.

Photo credit: Guillame Roujas

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