March 05, 2012 Paris
But his role as the new creative blood in a storied French house is probably one of the hardest of its kind. That's partly because of the specificity of what Rabanne did. You can easily shoot too far out of the Rhodoid park or stay stiflingly close to it. Arora seems to have a sense of balance, and a bottomless bag of new ideas. Some work, like the discs woven into highly wearable cardigans and pullover knits, and some don't, like the paneling of fluttery silk over metal disc dresses.
But it seemed like what sometimes weighed down this collection was Arora's attempt at a streamlined space-age sensibility, particularly in tailoring. It came across as less youthful than the Rabanne spirit should be. And a move into seventies disco decadence eventually turned a bit retro and convoluted.
Though for a good night out, Arora's Le 69 bags, now in gold and iridescent clutches, seem like just the thing. Sure enough, last season the bag business far outpaced the ready-to-wear at an enviable slate of stores. Arora will surely change some of those ratios with this collection, but the shift remains a work in progress.