Paris Fashion Week: Rochas unveils sophisticated menswear collection
Rochas' first foray into menswear is a success. On Thursday, the fashion label has unveiled its very first menswear collection, created by French designer Béatrice Ferrant: a complete, luxurious set of urban outfits, each item with its own distinctive character. Fabrics, cuts, details and finishings: Rochas does its best to dress discerning gentlemen in search of an understated elegance, without neglecting comfort and a touch of uniqueness.
"The Rochas man is smart and informal, in other words, very Parisian! Chic but not without a sprinkling of humour, and totally contemporary. This is the menswear I was expecting," said Philippe Benacin, boss of the Interparfums group, which purchased the Rochas label in 2015, investing in the fashion industry for the first time.
The Rochas women's ready-to-wear line is managed under licence by the Onward Luxury Group, with Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua as creative director. The menswear line instead, was until recently active through a licence agreement covering Latin America only.
Until new owner Interparfums decided to make an emphatic entrance, launching a worldwide menswear project by hiring Béatrice Ferrant and creating a 10-person team around her, between the creative and commercial departments.
'My point of departure was the dinner jacket, the thread running through the entire collection, including signature elements such as the satin cummerbund or the plastron," said Ferrant, who had fun creating white-tie trousers and shirts with pleated or draped plastrons.
For example, a cotton tee-shirt, fitted with a collar, plastron and classic cuffs, upgrades into a real dinner jacket shirt, and a comfy one to boot.
A pattern inspired by the Eiffel Tower's metallic grilles features as a leitmotif across the collection, carved on a Perfecto-style jacket, or sewn onto a pair of trousers or an ultra-soft cashmere sweater.
"The clothes look straightforward, but they are all highly structured, each of them concealing some special detail," said Ferrant. Like the 'R' for Rochas embroidered on the jeans' pockets, a monochrome band accenting the front of a checked raincoat in the same colour of its lining, an embossed jacket pocket or an origami-style one on an oversize taffeta parka.
Another instance of French finesse is the use of the same embroidered motif on an overcoat's front as on the sleeves. Style: you either have it or you don't. Cable-knit, removable cashmere sleeves can either be dispensed with, or added to an overcoat.
The style is neatly fitted, but it is comfortable above all. Trousers are ergonomic, and the metallised jeans give a feeling of durability. Or a sweater's shoulders can be drawn forward to improve wearability.
Every item has some sophisticated feature adding something extra: a sweatshirt seems cut out of neoprene, but it is made in a double jersey fabric, or a metallised wool jacket gives off a sparkly effect.
Rochas men's tee-shirts are priced from €200, and the shirts between €300 and €500. Like the jeans (priced between €700 and €1,000) these are manufactured in France. The jackets, priced between €1,000 and €1,400, are made in Portugal, while all that is leather or knitwear is made in Italy. The collection also features a series of shoe models.
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