All of the reviews from Rosie Assoulin’s show seem so surprised that her presentation for Fall 2017 looked like your grandmother’s living room: ornate wooden tables held plates full of Syrian snacks and Ottoman-era couches were covered in plastic so as not to damage the material. Just like grandma’s! There were Persian rugs across the floor and models in each corner of the large room. Warm, hospitable, inviting; these were the common descriptor words. It makes sense — the memories we hold from our lives before fashion are private. They belong to versions of us that our current peers don’t know, would never understand. But that a designer should bring you into the most familiar setting of her memory isn’t revolutionary.
Aren’t we always being invited into these neuro-homes when viewing a collection?
For the most emotional (and often best) clothes makers, the design process is really like an extended therapy session. They’re working their stuff out. Getting in there, letting tension pass through and anger resolve itself and joy pop up in places they probably didn’t expect to see it. They’re giving us a piece of themselves. And once they’re done and ready to show, it can feel a lot like they’re lying down naked on a table, legs wide open. They willingly subject their inner workings to our scrutiny.
It is the most severe and intense version of a metaphor for home. Because it’s not just place, it’s not just clothes, it’s not even just the very intimate insides of a designer’s mind. It’s everything they have at the moment, just out here for us to absorb.
Rosie Assoulin really gets this. She wants to bring us in and swaddle us in her demented white cape dress with real fucking flowers (and smiley-face stickers!) packed between layers of fabric. With her furniture shoes and urn earrings, the pom poms at the bottom of her handmade knits and that silk fabric that looks like wood, she gives it to us. And because she’s Rosie, she doesn’t let us leave without it. Of course, we can’t take the clothes. So we eat the cookies and run.
Photos by Nicole Cohen. Follow her on Instagram @sketchfortytwo. Lookbook Photos via Vogue Runway.