Simple summer pleasures were on Rosie Assoulin’s mind this season. The two most prominent references are bathing suits worn with sarongs and beach town awnings. They bridge the inherent disconnect of a resort season between functional winter clothing and escapist vacation wear. Scalloped hems and knotted skirts work for both.
But while the inspirations are humble the collection is not. Assoulin understands how to make even the most familiar objects special and dramatic. Take the whimsical blue striped taffeta gown with awning-details. The fabric does give off an interior-decorator vibe, and both the peplum waist and the ruffle around the neckline are finished with squared-off scallops. It looks almost historical, with its muted colors and full skirt. That’s offset by the coordinating bucket hat it’s styled with in the lookbook.
A black strapless dress with an exaggerated sweetheart neckline is equally daring, though in the opposite way. The bodice (and a tiny bit of the skirt) make the outline of a one-piece swimsuit, while a sheer skirt turns it into a midi dress.
The star of the collection is the transformable rainbow silk gown. It’s the runway equivalent of zip-off cargo pants. Separated into four components, it is, in its full form, a racerback striped dress with a mermaid skirt, but it can also be worn as a bra top and mini skirt, a mini dress, and a bra top and maxi skirt. Assoulin loves convertibility, and says that you can go to a party dressed in the full look and slowly change outfits throughout the evening. How whimsical.