Marcel Marongiu is "sick and tired" of jeans and sweaters and all the other pieces that apparently prevent a woman from looking her finest. In his mind, women are dressed their best in a "total look." At first, this sounded a tad ironic, given that the late Monsieur Laroche was one of the early champions of separates. But Marongiu didn't actually mean a collection of formal dresses; in fact, his formula was streamlined, sporty, and included a strategic showing of skin.
As artistic director for Guy Laroche since 2007, Marongiu insists he's more confident now in this role than he's ever been, and you should be able to see that in the clothes.
So do you? You might share his conclusion based on the opening coat that reappeared in a different coloration midway through the collection. In double-face woven crepe, laser-cut at the edges, it was strict but swingy. Thick visible seams on its inside played up the color contrast (emerald green and navy; limestone and powdery pink) and proved a nice touch.
You might not be able to tell that the architecture of Frank Gehry and Oscar Niemeyer motivated Laroche's silhouettes. But that's OK. Marongiu's emphasis on an attenuated line, from high-waisted trousers to fluid ankle-length silk jersey skirts, got the message across.
His use of prints was all or nothing. The two patterns—a grid of triangles and abstracted leaves—showed up on bags and geometric stacked heels in addition to the clothing. No styling necessary: Marongiu has your whole outfit thought out for you.
If the designer's confidence was evident in the multitude of bandeaux—strapless, T-backed, halters—then the ensuing question is: Do you want to wear this? Marongiu's reply: "What woman wouldn't want to wear this?" Some of this, surely. But of the 42 looks, 11 featured cropped tops. And once you ditch the bandeaux (which many customers surely will), you no longer have that total look.