Rosie Assoulin is a designer who provokes a feeling of the surreal; firstly for her designs, but also for the level accessibility her career path has had.
Assoulin only launched her brand in 2013, but she made an immediate impact, with Vogue having consistently kept their finger on her playful creations’ pulse, and her clothing having been picked up by high end retailing giants Moda Operandi, The Webster, and Fivestory regularly since her debut.
Despite this level of success, the frankly invasive appetites of fashion lovers paired with the volumes of content available on the web make Assoulin seem normal, and the conflict of this with her meteoritic rise and talent is nothing short of disorienting. Prior to her 2013 resort collection launch, Assoulin was someone who interned, someone who had (and still has) a husband and child, someone who is cited as being “terrified to do her own thing” only about a year before indeed doing that thing.
Have you ever heard Karl Lagerfeld quoted as being terrified? Perhaps by sweatpants and fat, yes, but certainly never by self-doubt.
Assoulin’s designs seem to come from a place of unfettered girlish playfulness, strengthened by the matured eye of an adult woman who knows how to make an excellent garment.
Looking at Assoulin’s career feels bizarre because she is recent, admittedly nervous, not-too-far-from-my-age example of an artist taking her creative ambitions and making them a reality—with outstanding results.
For current creatives, and especially current female creatives, Assoulin is an example of a talent that has not yet transcended into the fully unattainable fantasy of immortal powerhouses like Chanel or Gucci.
Assoulin is the nouveau-riche, the American Dream, the humble giant.
Her Fall 2017 collection sticks to her guns of practical-yet-dazzling. The details of her clothing are as whimsical and darling as a little girl’s giggle, but cuts reveal that these clothes are intended to move with the dignity and elegance in the real world.
One of the highlights of this collection has to be the fancy footwear. The shoes are all Assoulin’s endeavor, and are mostly mules featuring wooden heels in fanciful bubbled shapes. Mules, with their extreme popularity in the 17th and early 18th century (think Marie Antoinette), have been huge in both luxury and street fashion as the world continues to fall further in love with all things Rococo.
Another key feature of Assoulin’s designs are their versatility. For the most part, they are elegant while still remaining simple in composition, allowing the wearer to make their own stylistic choices to play up or play down the intensity or formality of their outfit. Assoulin’s work stands refreshingly apart from norm-core daywear, injecting some sprightliness into the “cool girl” current that increasingly steered toward a sometimes snobbish minimalism.
Executing pops of detail and color that never go overboard into costume, these garments don’t buy in to seriousness being inseparably tied to sobriety. Assoulin reveals a sense of humor in her designs, and appears to push for a little bit of genuine, happy indifference to the etiquette of high society in a way that so many are only pretending to.