fashion Designers

Rolando Santana Fall RTW 2015

WWD pretty well trashed Rolando’s show, and very condescendingly at that. But I really liked the show. and I guess that’s why I’m writing for Fashion Scoop Daily and not WWD. WWD chided Rolando for derivative looks taken from what they said was “post-war Dior.” Since Dior did not found his house until 1947 (post-war), one can’t help but wonder what pre-war Dior might have looked like. Could it possibly be perhaps that Dior’s 1947 New Look echoed a traditional Mexican silhouette involving sloped or bare shoulders, nipped in waists, and voluminous skirts? Might that perhaps have been a subconcious influence for the Cuernavaca, Mexico-born Rolando? Please. He doesn’t have to be concerned about any of that - he’s been in Neiman-Marcus for years now, and has a very strong fanbase across the south and all over Mexico, where he was born. Designing under his own name since 2009, Rolando has since dressed the likes of Robin Wright, Lupita Nyong’o and Marcia Gay Harden.

So let’s address the collection ourselves, shall we? There were indeed many voluminous New Look-type skirts, but there was nothing retro about them. Rolando freshened the silhouette but paring down the volume and shortening the hems. If he’s trying to lure younger customers as WWD alleges, he is

still remaining true to his visions of beauty and glamour. And frankly, anyone who doesn’t try to attract a younger market as their original client base ages, is a moron. So instead of more collections rife with the cocktail dresses that made him famous, Rolando strays from his beaten path and explores many alternate approaches, including particularly young-looking models.

Lavish use of fur (practically a design prerequisite this season) adds an inviting sensuality to the collection, whether worn over a bouffant skirt or skinny pants, and paired with everything from metallic brocade to leather. A draped, 4-ply silk crepe sheath skirt is coordinated with a cropped little evening jacket in plum-colored sheared mink; and an almost thigh-length coat was dozens of fully let-out hides of mahogany-tinted silver-tipped fox. Shine was everywhere in the collection, and in every texture, just as it is in Rolando’s spirit, one that emanates radiance and manifests beauty. An unabashed connoisseur of luxurious textures that beg to be stroked, the collection in fact demonstrated the very qualities that Rolando himself embodies - a sense of fantasy, a love of historic fashion, an almost child-like infatuation truly magical fabrics, and enough security to know he’s doing the right thing.