“Who AR you?” asked Alessandra Rich at a pre-fall appointment. The puzzling question wasn’t intended as a Hamlet-like existential conundrum, rather “which Alessandra Rich woman are you?” To cover the apparently moody, capricious nature of the AR creature, the collection offered a sort of à la carte menu of contrasting options.
“She has a teddy bear on her pillow and a baseball bat under her bed, she’s messy and prim at the same time,” summarized Rich. This season, the AR girl can be punkish in pleated-tartan ultra-miniskirts, or languid in mermaid-like ‘40s satin dresses; she’s all business in tailored pinstriped suits with puffy sleeves, or she indulges her provocative side in tough, black studded-leather greatcoats thrown over figure-hugging slipdresses in floral patchworks trimmed with lace. For her, Alice-in-Wonderland collarettes on midi pleated polka dot dresses and flirty bows on silky velvet bustiers have the same appeal as destroyed lacquered leather bombers pierced by spikes—which looked apropos in the gritty Milanese neighborhood where the lookbook was shot. Alessandra Rich has been living in London for years, and this collection was infused with a delicate nostalgia for the sexy, romantic, subversive atmosphere of the clubs of Camden, where British punk was born.