Christopher John Rogers‘ ecstatically bold clothes make you smile. They are also perfect for all sorts of celebratory moments. So no wonder why the New York-based designer’s resort 2022 collection is the ultimate re-emergence wardrobe. “I wanted it to be visceral and come from my heart. I felt like we’ve developed so many house signatures we didn’t need to reference a specific era or themes. This was more about cutting clothes and providing people with opportunities to enjoy dressing up,” Rogers told Vogue. “Last year, as I was designing it, I thought if I’m only going to make one more collection, what would it look like? And the answer wasn’t informed by the past or what I thought buyers might want. I love fashion, and I’m a fan of fashion, so that came through in the clothes.” By focusing on enjoyment and reinventing customer favorites, Rogers was able to deep dive into several motifs. Sections of the collection were devoted to variations of punchy colors like slime green and tangerine orange, while rainbow prints with an optical illusion vibe made their way onto various separates. This gradual exploration of specific colors and patterns kept things playful. When you have multiple looks in similar shades, the little things become paramount, and Rogers went out of his way to make each piece feel special. He doesn’t just give you a sequined slip dress or puffer coat; he’ll throw geometric diamonds on the dress’s bustline line and make the outerwear a reversible cocoon with one side covered in a Dippin’ Dots-worthy circle print. Rogers wants his pieces to trigger an emotional response in those who wear them, one that challenges the ephemerality of fashion’s seasonal cycle. “We want these to be things our customers cherish, that they can wear and live in,” he says. “These aren’t pieces you wear once and forget; they’re meant to be treasured, clothes that can grow and evolve with you over time.” The focus on wearability and construction meant that some of the proportions here were subdued compared to what we’ve come to expect from the label. No one does extreme volume and color the way Rogers does, and it’s made him an eveningwear fixture for forward-thinking women (big hopes the Sex & The City reboot will feauture Rogers’ pieces along other New York-based designers!). While there were several red carpet-worthy looks – a technicolor paillette-covered dress with flapper flair and a ballgown with an artsy barbecue theme print were two standouts – this season daywear almost eclipsed the after-hours fare. Casual suits that mixed pinstripes and plaid, LBDs with hints of rainbow knit worked into their pleats, and sweater dresses with candy-hued stripes were lighthearted fun that managed to feel polished and grown-up. After a year in confinement that played out in shades of gray, reemergence demands office wear with oomph, and Rogers offered an example of how that might look.
“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.