Rosie Assoulin loves the surreal and the absurd, but never goes for gimmicks and non-sense. It’s what draws people to her designs. She can fall down the rabbit hole – quite literally this season, as her inspiration was Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll – and return with a collection of whimsical pieces that are just attainable enough for real people to want to wear them, as Sarah Spellings put it for Vogue. For spring-summer 2023, however, the biggest theme was the feeling and beauty of spring. The practical pieces were boldly colored or illustrated: a suit with green gingham shorts and a red gingham blazer; a richly illustrated brown suit adorned with flowers; bottle green shantung cargo pants, full pleated skirts, and camp-collared shirts. Dialing up the whimsy were pieces like a skirt with a buttressed waist, giving it dimension and ease at the same time. The most fun in Assoulin’s collections comes from the high-wattage capital G gowns. Through a series of ties, you can personalize the swags and layers in the gingham ball skirt to your liking. Paired with a long-sleeve crop top, it’s available for your most elaborate picnicking needs. A striking cornflower blue gown with a contrasting red belt has a keyhole neckline, a caped back, and a delicately tiered skirt reminiscent of something from the Gilded Age. In her studio, Assoulin pointed out how the tiers make seam lines that almost look like a suit in a deck of cards: an abstract spade, heart, and diamond. There’s something delightful in every fold.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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