In an age of runway rocket ships, exotic locations and megastar cameos, it sometimes feels like fashion is continually trying to outdo itself. To what end? That perfect Instagram-moment. But there’s something to be said for getting back to nature – it can be all the more impactful for its simplicity. Case in point: Rodarte’s SS18 show during Paris couture week. The setting: the cloisters of a 16th century Parisian abbey. The decoration: flowers, flowers and more flowers. The catwalk was lined with them, the models, draped with garlands, held bouquets and, most dramatic of all, they all wore crowns – nay, helmets – of baby’s breath. It was everywhere; oodles of fluffy puffs of tiny white flowers encircled the models’ faces, making the festival-goer flower crown look rather tame by comparison. Girl, if you ain’t rocking a bloom bonnet at Coachella next year, what are you even doing with your life?
See, this is what Rodarte does very well. It takes something that’s traditionally very pretty, (in this case, delicate sprays of gypsophila) and makes it just that little bit weird. More of a Grimm’s fairy tale than Disney. Floral everything could easily look like some sort of floristry convention, but this felt like a magical meadow of wildflower nymphs. These nymphs weren’t only dressed in flowers, however. There were beautiful gowns on show amongst the blooms. Frothy, delicate, glamorous dresses of sheer tulle, lace and ruffles. Pearls, beads, feathers and polka dots pierced the weightless fabrics – so far, so sweet – but a dash of spice was added with edgy knee boots, lace-up pumps and arm-fulls of bangles and cuffs in the shape of flowers and hearts. The colour palette was also a fine balance between pretty and eerie. Carnation pink, frozen peach and white were balanced by red and, (of course) gothic black.
"The decoration: flowers, flowers and more flowers."
These were romantic dresses and separates for women who fully sign up to maxim ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’. And remember, even the most beautiful roses have thorns… These are the sort of gowns that you could wear with biker boots and a leather biker jacket (in fact, the collection featured some – albeit studded with pearls), slicked back hair and lips painted dark and smudged; equally, go soft with glossy lips, wispy braided hair and the daintiest of satin sandals – or somewhere in between. For all the baby’s breath (beautiful, yes, practical, no), this collection represented a very real offering of modern evening wear that girls and women would actually want to wear, their own way, to formal events. You get to pick your love story – and we choose Rodarte.