PARIS--This is Marco Zanini's fourth season designing for Rochas. Yet his short-lived tenure at Halston--as well Olivier Theysken's time at Rochas--is still very fresh in our minds. The good news: with every season, the Versace-schooled designer moves further and further away from those sticky associations, making Rochas his very own.
For Spring 2011, Zanini sent out a solid collection of floral satin tops and bottoms and plain satin slip dresses. All with handkerchief-wrapped hair that first reminded us of babushkas, then of 1930s and '40s working mothers. It was as if Zanini had taken working class clothes and tinted them with wealth.
But there were some straight-up princess pieces, too, including an off-white ball gown with the tiniest Swiss dots and a milkmaid frock printed with a distinctly Scandinavian textile.
Zanini's certainly got a few fans in the American section. T's Sally Singer out-n-out cheered when the designer took his bow, and we could see Grace Coddington crack a smile. Wintour was there, too, but it's difficult to tell her expression behind those glasses. We're betting she was pleased.