Like his fellow Americans Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Christopher John Rogers is working a season ahead of his peers. He made a surprise visit to Paris this week to show his pre-fall 2024 collection, while the rest of fashion (barring The Row designers) was still thinking about spring.
Rogers has found that showing on the pre-season schedule can help sales. Moving appointments up by another couple of months will presumably boost them further. But the trip was also about profile raising. With his one show a year taking place off-calendar in May, he’s not as well known to European editors and buyers as he is in the States.
Those who know him know him first and foremost for his colorful stripes, but for the last two collections he’s opened with a series of all-white looks and he repeated the formula here. “I think it surprises people, and I like the cleanness of it,” he said. The all-white pieces also let him show off without any distractions. A fit-and-flare 1950s-ish dress with a bodice that exposed its inner construction, and a strapless dress with origami-like twists, bows, and ruffles were ample proof of what he said: “make and process—that’s what I love most about what I do.” Another strapless dress was constructed from a papery Japanese nylon that’s used in backpacking, “so you can go hiking in it,” he laughed.
After eight or so looks, he reintroduced color. Adding circles to his repertoire, he created a graphic warp print that he used for a ruffle-sleeved shirt and balloon pants, and lifted a black-and-white print from the enamel tableware at one of his favorite neighborhood places, the Smile To-Go in Soho, for both easy-wearing pants and a deeply ruffled shirtdress. The single rose print on a silk viscose number came from a 1930s wallpaper pattern.
Stripes are still the thing here though, and the variety demonstrated his range—he’s the rare young designer who has both commercial knack (see the fine gauge knits with striped details) and dramatic flair (as in a voluminous Cristobal-ish trapeze) . A strapless cotton dress with variegated stripes, some of which were crushed and ruched, was the collection standout because it connected both of those instincts.