Fall 2017 Haute Couture: Stephane Rolland’s Sculptural Glamour and Minimalist Lines

There is never any lace in sight in a Stephane Rolland Haute Couture Collection. Instead of frills, and bling, the grand couturier relies on a more minimalist approach that focuses on precision cuts and perfect finishing.

That does not mean his creations are not grand statements; on the contrary, a Stephane Rolland dress is often like a kinetic sculpture, moving with its wearer presenting fabric flourishes (like a frame on a shoulder or a grand corole enveloping the body) that seem to defy gravity.

In July, Rolland celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his couture house and for his Fall/Winter 2017 Collection he focused on a black and white theme with gold accents.

“Read the collection like music paper; lyrical, searching for what’s fundamental, all the way to its roots,” explained Rolland, “Just as (over) the past decade, I still play with contrasts and movements in order to challenge the space, always (to) surprise and create an emotion.”

Inspired by the work of the American design duo Kurt Freiler and Jerry Fels, Rolland entangled golden branches on a caped-dress in black crepe with pagoda-like shoulders, while on other pieces the designer created embellishments that floated around the wearer, giving rhythm to each step she took, paying tribute to one of his favorite sculptors, Alexander Calder.

In an other homage, this time to Austrian sculptor Franz Hagenauer, Rolland created column dresses that had applique faces on one side in gold silicon or fabric. On one gown, two profiles cut in white crepe faced each other above an waterfall of black fox that form the skirt.

Coats, jumpsuits and trapeze tunics were generously wide and round, while strategic cutouts were placed to reveal just enough skin.

The presentation of the Fall/Winter 2017 collection took place as pianist Claire-Marie Le Guay performed pieces by Ravel, Tchaikovski and Scriabin, and Mezzo-Soprano Béatrice Uria Monzon sang Puccini's Tosca Act II as a grand finale.