Pairing a conceptual designer with a beach wear collection would, ordinarily, seem like a very odd proposition, but in the case of Alexandre Herchcovitch's debut for Brazilian label Rosa Cha on Thursday, Sept. 10, in New York, it turned out to be a thought-provoking and probably profitable idea.
Herchcovitch, Brazil's most internationally acclaimed designer, didn't betray his artily inclined roots, sending out bizarre yet ultimately rather cool looks, whose very novelty made them all the better. We're talking about pairing polka dot high-waist pants and bustier in just one garment, or finely cut denim halter neck dresses with bathing costume backs. They sound tricky, but they looked great and, worn on the right body, real sure-fired head turners.
"It's all about construction. I wanted to really rethink the shapes and forms of swimwear," explained the designer after the show as a mob waited to compliment him, inside the tents of Bryant Park, the nerve center of the New York runway season. Herchcovitch replaced founder Amir Slama this summer after the latter fell out with the label's key investors.
Other looks to impress were crystal appliquéone-pieces, or a trio of basket-weave leotards in great hues of orange and canary yellow. Overall, we heard of echoes of Fifties Rio, with models donning lots of polka dot fabrics and Jet Set head scarves.
Plunging V-neck blouses, black-and-white striped kimono looks and chambray bodies all showed Herchcovitch craftily moving the Rosa Cha brand ahead, without taking any too foolish leaps. Worn by a smartly cast selection of Brazilian and Eastern European models and styled by Mauricio Ianes with just the right amount of understatement, this was a laudable first-time at bat for the designer with a brand that had drifted of late.
"Real cool man! Hope to see lots of maidens wearing this stuff down on the islands," enthused Jamaican ragga and rap singer Sean Paul, after wearing a million-wattage, front-row smile throughout the whole show.