If rumour becomes reality and Marco Zanini leaves Rochas for Schiaparelli, the Spring/Summer 2014 collection he showed for the old house in Paris on Wednesday afternoon was his last. (The fact that Zanini didn’t do interviews after the show would suggest that something is definitely up.) And as far as going out with a bang, no one’s got anything on Zanini. With their candy paper surfaces and macaroon colours, the materials used in full skirts and dresses cut at the knee didn’t make for an instantly definable collection, but as it progressed, its character so elegantly showed its face. As translucent curtains in powder pastels blew quietly in the wind at the root of the runway, it was in the natural elements movement of the season that Zanini took his point of departure. But the cutesy nature prints and floral overload of so many other collections this season were nowhere to be found.
Instead, Zanini’s collection had an almost elfin quality about it with fabrics ranging from the super starched to the weightlessly light and thin. There was something fairytale-like about the collection, almost as if it belonged in some sort of smurfy pixie land. Rhinestone ornamentation had a glistening water drop look about it, a feeling that was only intensified by the drop sounds, which appeared in the soundtrack. Feathers on sandals stuck out over the toes like fur on an animal’s paw, while the models’ back-combed, frizzy Mrs Havisham hair made them look like the kind of crazy women who live in forests to be in touch with nature. As a collection, it was the most interesting interpretation of what’s become one of the season’s biggest motifs. And as a possible swan song for Zanini at Rochas, it was a farewell that will certainly remain etched in the minds of his industry and his clientele alike.