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September 2 2014

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosie

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Looks from Rosie Assoulin's Resort '14 collection

Design was never far from the heart of 28-year-old newcomer Rosie Assoulin. “I did terribly in school my whole life,” explained the Brooklyn native during a preview of her debut collection. “But this world came out of it. I retreated into this intimate space of design.”

Assoulin, who put in a brief stint at FIT (she dropped out after four months), got most of her fashion training while interning with Oscar de la Renta, in New York, and Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, in Paris. “Every single thing goes through their hands,” she recalled. “They’re so passionate. They don’t change for other people. They really do what works for them. And you can’t touch that.”

Although Assoulin was constantly sketching her own designs during the aforementioned apprenticeships, it wasn’t until she was back from Lanvin, taking care of a new child and working in event planning, that launching her vision felt right. “My friends Claire [Distenfeld] and Leandra [Medine] had been pushing me to do it for years, but it always seemed very scary,” expressed Assoulin. “And it is scary. But it started to be scarier not to do it.”

Looks from Rosie Assoulin's Resort '14 collection

Assoulin took the leap for the Resort ’14 season, and the resulting collection is a wearable assortment of voluminous couture-inspired tie pants, button-downs, and sculptural evening dresses and separates. “There’s a juxtaposition between the homespun, the very formal, and the casual [that informs every piece],” explained Assoulin as she held up a pair of loose-fit drawstring cargo pants and a structured cream crepe blouse. Her initial references—images of men in Morocco and Kazakhstan wearing “these beautiful sarong skirts with a pressed button-down and blazer”—take shape in Italian-sourced, New York-manufactured clothes for “strong characters.” A refined play on boyish white JNCO pants in cotton faille, as well as a hand-painted, gracefully draped silk cocktail dress, stood out in particular. At the end of the preview, Assoulin told us that she hopes clients can see her—and her mentors—in her collection. But, she added, “hopefully, you’ll make it your own.”

Photos: Courtesy of Rosie Assoulin

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