It’s always difficult when a designer takes over from a quirky, critically beloved—and intensely personal—predecessor; and such is the case with Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who returned to the well for his third collection at Rochas—following up his sweetly romantic resort collection with a frothy, filmy take on mostly mid-century-modern silhouettes for spring 2015. There were primly collared sheer tops boasting large Rs on the breast under full, layered skirts and lace-inlay tea-length ones; there were ribbon–be-sashed flora- and fauna-embroidered gossamer caftan-style dresses (truly sheer, and paired with peach-colored bloomers); there were long, sweeping skirts (occasionally prairie or peasant) and intricately beaded coats and the sporadic gold or white sequin-covered silhouette; there were frilly frocks and bobby socks and even utility-belt-style cinches across some chests. But where Dell’Acqua hit his stride was with a series of flirty camisole-style dresses, and it was here that interest seemed to peak amongst showgoers—more than for the gauze and glitz of the fifties fantasy-housewife fare (though the little sporty, sheer, contrast-trimmed kicky knit tops were great).
It feels like what Dell’Acqua is truly saddled with here is moving his Rochas away from the Marco Zanini–isms that he inherited when taking the reins—cutting the label away from the prim, pretty dressing that the latter made his trademark and toward the slinky, sexy silhouettes that he was famous for under his namesake label, in order to take the collection to a place where there can be no comparison to what came before. Fashion needs more than a reassurance of what’s already happened. That slip-over-lace dress was a hint of what’s there; we’re ready to see more.