One of the happiest, cheeriest presentations thus far at New York Fashion Week goes to Rosie Assoulin, one of the buzziest names in fashion currently. Not only has she been awarded the 2016 Swarovski Collective Award earlier this year (which she wasted no time putting to good use—but we'll get to that later), but her intuitive talent to design clothing that we didn't know we needed has landed her a role of an "It" designer catered to today's "It" girls, like Caroline Issa and Man Repeller's Leandra Medine, who both turned up to support Assoulin at her spring 2017 show.
The show space, located in the heart of Manhattan's Meatpacking District, was transformed into a beachy, shoreside scene, with a bar piled high with a mountain of salt water taffy and rows of lemonade with striped paper straws ("We made an earring that looks just like this," Assoulin observed, pointing to the straws as we sipped on our drinks). Models stood on dunes of styrofoam peanuts (instead of sand, probably because it made for a much easier clean-up) amidst chic palm fronds and an art installation of stacked beach chairs. As fun as the backdrop was, none of that competed with the looks—each one was so strong in its delivery, it didn't need to lean on anything else for context or support.
"They're like little dreams that you have—they're all coming together, which is what's great," Assoulin says about her collection. As for the inspiration? "Life," she simply states. "Life, and trying to balance things—sometimes you go big somewhere and go small somewhere else. It’s life."
Life, but in its happiest state. Assoulin experimented with embroideries, bold prints (something she's never done before), denim, and a ton of collaborations, like with shoe designer Paul Andrew for an excellent range of footwear and Morgenthal Federics for sunglasses. And it paid off—there were colorful striped numbers, shirts bedazzled with smiley faces (a cheeky riff off plastic shopping bags), and stunning gowns that paid homage to beach umbrellas. For a boost in happiness, scroll through to see the 12 things from Assoulin's spring 2017 collection guaranteed to spark joy.
1. A Smiley-Face Riff
A plain white shirt from the front, a bedazzled smiley face from the back (a cheeky riff on plastic shopping bags).
2. Swarovski Crystals on Everything
Assoulin encrusted 142,000 Swarovski crystals on this stunning color-block caftan alone. In total? She used more than 358,000 throughout.
3. Sculptural Straw Bags
Ugh, want. Straw woven purses that look like, no joke, ceramic sculptures.
4. This One-Shoulder-Choker Top
For the girl too busy to accessorize—a flirty, ruffly one-shoulder top that comes with a built-in choker.
5. Stripes on Stripes
Preppy polo dresses and bowling shirts get the Rosie treatment with bold colorful lines striped across.
6. Out-There Hats with Out-There Layering
Teeny-tiny beaded tassels give new life to a frilly straw hat. And those delightfully eccentric mixed-print layers—a knotted halter bandeau over a dress—have us obsessed.
7. Collarbone-Baring Tops
No more cold shoulders! The next new thing: Collarbone-baring halter-neck tops.
8. Sunglass Collab Alert
Cool oversized octagon frames—one of two styles from Rosie Assoulin x Morgenthal Frederics's new collaboration. And can we please talk about these beach umbrella-inspired separates?! Genius.
9. Bold Florals! Cold-Shoulder Gowns!
The designer packed a punch with bold blooms in saturated shades. And in a new fun take on shirting, Assoulin turned a button-down into a gown. But she gave the soft shade and its no-nonsense nature a hit of sex appeal with one sleeve dragged down to reveal one shoulder.
10. Dresses and Denim—The New Perfect Pairing
Assoulin's latest design venture? Denim. Slouchy in silhouette and haphazardly cuffed, they look especially fresh when paired with a puffy-sleeved shirtdress.
11. Statement-Making Extras
From blah to wow: Incredible wire earrings (that double as works of art) and real flower petals in lieu of eye shadow.
12. Pops of Yellow
And a bow to tie it all together.