Ahead of its return for New York Fashion Week, Ian Wright caught this US label on its European tour.
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Five years on from its debut collection, founders and designers Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper have taken Rochambeau on the road for the first time for the autumn 13 buying season. This sees them embarking on
a tour that takes in trade shows in Milan and Paris in a quest to secure key European accounts before they return to their home in New York for fashion week.
Drapers caught up with the brand at White in Milan, where the dark underground show space of the Basement made the perfect setting for an autumn 13 collection inspired by the famous cave paintings of Chauvet Cave, discovered in the south of France.
Chandler and Cooper have retained the signature grungy, casual vibe for autumn but have incorporated a more tailored silhouette and intricate detailing. This culminates in the standout look comprising of a rust-coloured cotton twill sb suit printed with naively drawn rhinos and other beasts from the walls of the Chauvet Cave, overlaid with a neatly finished organza embroidered with more wild cats and their prey. It’s a technical feat and a real showstopper, but for those with slightly less adventurous customers, the duo have created printed shirt and T-shirt options and feline-embroidered sweats, which have a retro charm.
But the foundation of the collection is workwear: cargo trousers, flannel shirts and technical parkas are all easy to buy into, while functional detailing such as storm flaps, hoods and drawstrings feature on luxurious coats made from pony skin, shearling and soft goat leather. The palette of charcoal, grey, black, rust and beige ties the more dramatic and commercial styles together. Here’s hoping Rochambeau’s European tour was worth it.