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From L-R: Over 15 years, Marcel Rochas developed his bird motif. “Birds lend themselves as graceful ornaments on the designs of Marcel Rochas. A white dove spreads its wings over the bodice of a plain black dress, while two blue birds perch on the shoulders of a youthful, pastel-blue evening ensemble.” La Femme de France, April 1934; Lambswool cape and skirt in “Tchouklap” by Rodier, worn with a striped sweater matching the lining and a two-tone scarf. Harper’s Bazaar, October 1934. © Courtesy Harper’s Bazaar (UK); Sablier evening gown in black tulle and velvet, embroidered with motifs in jet, 1948. © Tom Keogh All images courtesy of Marcel Rochas: Designing French Glamour

from 1940 until the liberation. He released his first three perfumes, lipsticks and face powders in 1939 and his most famous scent, Femme, in 1944. Rochas died prematurely in 1955 while French society and fashion were in the throes of change; although he dreaded the age of ready-to-wear, he nevertheless was one of the first to understand the commercial viability of producing branded accessories and cosmetics in order to create an alluring window into which consumers could catch a glimpse of the life of a Rochas lady. And while Sophie goes into great detail about her distant and often tempestuous relationship with her mother Hélène – Rochas’ third wife and the last Madame Rochas – it is nevertheless impressive that she became the first female CEO in France at the age of 33, taking over the helm after her

husband’s untimely death and steering the brand in a whole new direction, including presiding over the launch of the perfume Madame Rochas. “For nearly 60 years, the beauty and elegance of the famous couturier’s window shaped a new legend,” Sophie writes, “to the point, sometimes, of eclipsing the memory of Marcel Rochas.” But there’s little evidence that Rochas would have been opposed to this direction, moving with the times in order to stay relevant. During his three-decade career, Rochas opened two couture houses, employed an army of skilled workers, and created innumerable pieces considered to be milestones in the history of couture. He wrote in 1943: “There is without a doubt an avant-mode – a pre-fashion that precedes and proposes, a fashion that consecrates; and an après-mode – a post-fashion,

“His writings were both literary and poetic. I have always been thankful to him because he passed down his skills to me”

Profile for Runwild Media Group

Vantage Magazine June 2015  

Welcome to the June edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles and...

Vantage Magazine June 2015  

Welcome to the June edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles and...

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