The opening image in this slideshow may cause some double reactions. Christopher John Rogers, a designer whose rainbow stripes are his signature, created six looks without color for pre-fall — like the zero ROYGBIV. His title for the series, “It’s My Party, I Can Cry If I Want,” hinted at his new direction. Having captured the attention of the fashion world, Rogers appears to have set out to subvert expectations.
date at his Lower Broadway studio. “The idea of playing is the most important thing.” Check out the plastic clown noses and towering silk clown hats, designed in collaboration with milliner Piers Atkinson. There was even a Pierrot jumpsuit in the first set, with silk flowers in place of the typical pom-poms, though that was more of a throwback than a novelty. A pre-pandemic fashion show ended with a different look.
Finally, this isn’t the Volta face that initially seemed to herald. It’s as colorful and extroverted as any other CJR lineup, but promises to push the limits of his proverbial signature. In the studio, Rogers pointed to the porthole cutouts of a square-knit top trimmed with rainbow stripes—”It’s a lot of work to make it lay flat,” he explained. Equally sophisticated: a sweater that mashed two crewnecks into one, and a sweater dress with long sleeves and arm slits.
The playfulness is on purpose; these knits can be worn in a variety of ways. Experimentation is balanced with easy-to-wear sensitivity. Rogers’ new suits were oversized and loose; cut from recycled polyester in shades of grape and crayfish, they were a fresh, modern take on the more formal tailoring he showed in June.
Rogers doesn’t want to be tied down to any category except eveningwear, which is inevitably his calling card. As awards season looms, there’s bound to be calls for a floral-print grosgrain tulip gown and a black clownhorn-embroidered gown with puffed sleeves, both of which ooze throwback medieval couture looks.