Stephane Rolland, Couture, AW11, Paris.
Couture appears in it’s most traditional and romanticised form when the fabrics are luxurious, the fabric manipulations are intricate and elegant, and the overall silhouette appears as stylised as a well drawn fashion illustration. At the Stephane Rolland catwalk show for Autumn-Winter 2011, the couture pieces presented represented these 3 factors to dramatic effect.
There were some chunky textures used for the fabric of the garments, and though we often see textured fabrics in ready to wear, in couture they are often so integrated that they also absorb normal seamlines. Although it is hard to tell from these photos alone, in many couture garments your usual side seams, shoulder seams etc are absorbed into the fabric manipulation, so that the design will remain perfect at all angles, without obvious breaklines.
In terms of fabric manipulations for the Stephane Rolland collections, we saw knotted, twisted and plaited fabrics often used with a sense of gradated scale – blending from small to large in order to flatter the body where necessary. The fabric manipulations were also reflected in the metal hardware that was used as a focal point at waist lines.
In terms of silhouette, it was easy to see how Rolland has listed fashion illustrator David Downton as an influence for this collection. There are elements of the garments that are oversized and stylised, like the large collar on one dress, and the volumes of fabric that are swept into classic couture shapes. You get the feeling that this is couture that has come through a full circle of inspiration – haute couture inspired the bold, abstract mark making of David Dowton and Stephane Rolland has then taken these idealised proportions and exaggerated the silhouette to try to fulfill these illustrations.
Stephane Rolland, Couture, AW11.
Portrait of Stephane Rolland by David Downton»
Catwalk images and Portrait from Vogue.co.uk»