by Jeremy Danté

PARIS – seemingly merging the popularization of more minimal concepts to haute couture technique, the stéphane rolland haute couture collection was one of my favorites this season. at the age of 20, rolland became creative director of menswear at french fashion house, balenciaga, where he remained for 4 years. soon following, rolland parted ways with balenciaga & became artistic director of couture at jean-louis scherrer, in 2008.  rolland’s first namesake couture collection made it’s debut in 2007, after he became an official member of the chambre syndicale de la caute couture, which allows labels to bare the prestigious title of, haute couture. in 2009, rolland officially introduced his leather goods collections with plans to unveil an accessories line, april 2012. as a creative force floating a bit under the radar compared to other designers, i feel like people sleep on stéphane. as evidenced in this collection, his attention & design resume more than qualify him to be a fighting force in the hum drum world of fashion repition. with his flourishing designs of couture, rolland is also a costume designer & that sense of theatricality, that attraction to dramatic silhouettes- it’s all seen in the way he designs & how those designs are executed.

usually, with couture- designers take one of two approaches. there’s the timeless, classic appeal often seen at houses like christian dior, valentino or chanel. then you have this new wave of more modern designers like iris van herpen or givenchy. both sides of the spectrum will thoughtfully combined in this collection, which merges more minimalistic shapes & design lines, often associated with ready-to-wear & combines them with select couture techniques on each piece. layered textiles, flowing chiffon- it was all very beautiful & contemporary. i loved the collection’s use of hardware as well as the variation in design of the neckline. off whites, blasts of yellow & red with use of black was all seen in the collection palette, which kept the momentum of the collection going & powerfully from start to finish. reportedly, the red bridal finale gown in the collection, worn by supermodel icon yasmin lebon; weighed 110 pounds, took 49 yards of fabric to create & required assistance from two design assistants to walk the runway. the collection, as well as it’s execution, was exceptionally sharp- hence it being one of my favorites this season. i think it’s extremely interesting to see how designers interpret the traditional couture techniques & morph them to appeal to this modernized age of fashion. mindful of rolland’s design past, i would say that he is doing a remarkable job & merging classic with modern. couture is about taking design fantasies & making them reality- a mission which was well achieved this season at stéphane rolland. [source]