To better understand the inner workings of Rosie Assoulin’s head, get your face as close as possible to one of her Resort 2018 pieces — any of the gowns or tops with a floral-and-something pattern over a white base. Once you’re right in front of it or zoomed in on a screen, you’ll realize that the “something” is actually text which reads, “Say it with flowers.”
And then, an aha moment: Like the wrapping paper that comes with a bouquet from an NYC corner store/deli.
If there ever was truth to the statement that an artist finds inspiration in the strangest or most mundane of places, there you have it. Rosie sees that which can easily be overlooked, finds beauty in it and shares it. We, meanwhile, admirers of her imagination, become influenced. Suddenly, deli bouquets aren’t tacky, they’re chic. Square-toe mules aren’t ugly, they’re necessary to complete all future outfits. The woman brought back cargo pants for heaven’s sake.
When Rosie opens the door to her world, there is no choice but to walk on through. Of course, she makes it easy, luring you, as was the case for her Resort presentation, into the secret garden home of artist Izhar Patkin (a down-the-rabbit-hole, “this can’t be NYC” endless collection of rooms to marvel at), then enticing you to stay with an array of food served on trays and left for you to pick at on various tables. As you sit and eat, models wearing her designs “hang out” at ease, rather than model. Rare tranquility. Transported entirely, you can’t believe that any of this is inside the fashion world — or any familiar world, for that matter. You leave only because real life beckons, exiting through Rosie’s looking glass, happy and bewildered.