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Rochas' B-52s Cactus Flower Fashion

Godfrey Deeny
March 04th, 2010 @ 00:06 AM - Paris

Nostalgia, though sometimes a melancholy feeling, can also be a optimistic influence, which it was in the wistful and rather chic collection from the house of Rochas, presented on the evening of Wednesday, March 3, in Paris.

The house’s designer, Marco Zanini, found the impulse for this fall 2010 collection, unveiled in a semi-reconstructed, disused bank building, in the romantic comedy “Cactus Flower,” where Goldie Hawn played what one critic called a “dizzy cream.” Not a bad description of this sugary, yet stylish, collection.

If anything, the collection reminded one of the pop dance band, The B-52s, as the models sauntered out with teased out backup singer hairdos, clinging cardigans and lots of satin shirts with pointy collars. However, this was far from a retro collection by Zanini, who played with the historic references by adding chunky satin bows in contrasting color.

And one had to love the remarkable shoes, with splayed heels and large buckles, done in fake cheetah skin, mint satin or honey leather, and finished again with bows that looked designed for a trip to court. Zanini also varied the pitch with a smart new flat boot, faintly futurist and done in similar materials that are sure to be influential.

Throughout the color palette were sugary, sherbet greens, crystal gold and baby blue. Yet the speakers pumped out hard rock, like Joan Jett’s classic hit, “Crimson and Clover.”

“Ah, now I don't hardly know her. But I think I could love her,” sang Jett as the models appeared in a series of shiny embroidered satin pants and cocktail dresses that, rather than “Cactus Flower,” recalled Martin Scorsese’s homage to Las Vegas, “Casino,” and especially the wardrobe of Sharon Stone in the film. That character, the devious Ginger, is ironically about as far a way as one could imagine from Toni Simmons, the naïve figure played by Hawn in “Cactus Flower.”

Yet whatever image the clothes called to mind, the result was a snappy clear-headed collection that marks Zanini out as a cool player in the Paris fashion firmament.

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