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.