In just over a year, Rosie Assoulin has quickly developed a cult following. On any given day during NYFW, you’ll spot her statement-making creations on street-style fixtures such as pal Leandra Medine, who frequently pairs Assoulin’s sculptural tops with denim cutoffs. Meanwhile, the designer scored her first major red carpet coup when Michelle Dockery turned up at the Emmy Awards in a standout column gown from Fall ’14. For Spring, Assoulin’s fans were out in full force at her presentation staged in a Catholic school gymnasium, where she rearranged the models to color coordinate with her girlfriends’ outfits (and make their selfies all the more likable). “I can’t help but merchandise it out a bit,” she laughed.
This season, Assoulin continued to articulate her now-signature aesthetic with familiar, couture-like proportions and a vibrant color palette. Perhaps the most noteworthy development here was her imaginative use of raffia. She incorporated natural hemp into urn-shaped handbags inspired by ceramic artist Betty Woodward, and showed a dramatic ball skirt and matching tank woven from the same straw as the wide-brimmed hats that accessorized several looks. Structured tiers were a recurring theme throughout the lineup, and Assoulin was smart to make many of these looks convertible with discreet zippers, which allow customers to add or subtract layers as desired for day-to-night transitioning. Elsewhere, the designer decorated asymmetric tops and dresses with unfurling silk faille cascades that echoed Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings. On the more casual end of the spectrum were a deconstructed navy safari jacket, and a cropped T-shirt in crisp poplin, which channeled a modern ’90s sensibility paired with a drawstring maxi skirt. Overall, Assoulin understands what she does best, and stuck to it here while advancing a handful of promising new ideas.