Law Roach’s Collaborative Collection With Hervé Léger Proves He Is The Master Of Archival Dressing

Law Roach does indeed do it all. Not only is the award-winning stylist the sartorial architect behind some of the biggest names, and thus, biggest fashion moments in Hollywood (think Zendaya’s 2018 Met Gala Joan of Arc moment, that Mary J. Blige Jean-Louis Sabaj look, a number of Venus Williams looks, and countless more). Somehow, the Chicago native has found the time to simultaneously serve as a judge on HBO’s reality voguing competition show, Legendary, join British Vogue as its Contributing West Coast Editor and, most recently, join forces with longstanding luxury fashion brand Hervé Léger to co-design its limited edition Resort 2023 collection — and the collaboration is a perfect match. 

There is no looking back at fashion of the 2010s without revisiting the viral phenomena that is Hervé Léger’s bandage dresses, the style that made endless red carpet appearances by way of celebrities such as Rihanna for seasons on end. “We all have a memory of those dresses, right?” Roach tells ESSENCE during the Los Angeles launch party for the collection. “It was the dress. It was the celebratory ‘I want to feel sexy,’ ‘I’m going on a first date,’ ‘I’m going to Vegas,’ ‘It’s my bachelor party’ dress. It’s a very important piece of fashion history, and also pop culture history.” 

Courtesy of Hervé Léger

In a press release, Roach recalls diving into the brand’s archive for the first time while working with Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model in 2017. Then, in 2021 came two Tiffany Haddish Hervé Léger moments — a voluminous black mini dress, and a yellow turtleneck number — both orchestrated by Roach. The 2021 FNAA Style Influencer of the Year award winner tells ESSENCE it was this Fall 2021 collection, under the brand’s newly appointed Creative Director Christian Juul Nielsen that ignited his love affair with present-day Hérve Léger.

Now, the limited-edition capsule developed under both creatives comes together merging the then and the now. It’s a technique the vintage and archival fashion aficionado knows all too well. “That is my career,” he says. “That is who I am — Mixing archives and new collections. So it was only natural for it to be a part of my collection.” Just a quick scroll through Roach’s recent work via Instagram provides insight into exactly what he means: Zendaya in 1998 Bob Mackie, a deep dive into long-lost Versace for the 2022 Cannes Festival for Bella Hadid, Kerry Washington in archive Ralph & Russo, and of course a few vintage items the stylist throws on himself.

Courtesy of Hervé Léger

With the forthcoming Hervé Léger collection, set to touchdown in stores in October, the inspiration conjured up from the past is palpable. Across a compilation of predominantly dresses and skirts, fans can see just where archive Hervé Léger and new Hervé Léger meet. References to the brand’s iconic bandage technique run through the collection; its penchant for mixed media returns by way of a mini dress featuring a bandage bodice and artfully draped silk charmeuse on its bottom half (a reference, Roach says, to Hervé Léger’s Spring 1997 collection); a catsuit plays on both qualities of ‘90s runway and the 2022 resurgence of the trend while the repetition of opera gloves throughout the collection echoes a similar notion; homage is paid to the brand’s historic use of stripes by way of a pastel lavender, black and tan motif; and cutouts, the mega-trend that has ruled the runway nonstop in recent years, make its share of appearances in everything from cropped tops to midid dresses. 

With an emphasis on bodycon silhouettes and styles primed for evening wear, the collection — ode to fashion’s past as it is — feels distinctly of the times, catering to women looking to spend 2022 dolled up, celebrating themselves through fashion, in comparison to recent years. “It’s who you become, right?” Roach says of his favorite thing about getting himself and his client dressed, and thus, the philosophy with which he approached designing the collection. “Every superhero has a uniform. And when we get dressed for the day, it helps us walk through the world.”

TOPICS:  fashion law roach

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