The bandage dress is back.
In August 2021, when actress Tiffany Haddish stepped out in a little black Hervé Léger fall 2021 collection bandage dress with voluminous taffeta sleeves, styled by Hollywood stylist and image architect Law Roach, the look went viral, the dress became a bestseller, and the moment became the impetus for a collaboration with the storied ready-to-wear label.
Debuting for resort, the Hervé Léger x Law Roach collection celebrates fashion’s current nostalgia for all things ’80s, ’90s and early Aughts through 25 luxe, modern looks.
“I’ve built a certain reputation with archival dressing — what Bella [Hadid] and I just did in Cannes with vintage, and most recently Zendaya with the vintage Bob Mackie — so I just have a real passion for the way things were, and also giving things that already exist a new life,” Roach told WWD, adding that he took the opportunity to uplift the brand’s rich archive, history and lineage through the collection.
Hervé Léger was founded by French designer Hervé Peugnet in 1985, and the label was sold to BCBG Max Azria Group in 1998. Since then, it’s been acquired by ABG Group, and shown on and off the New York Fashion Week calendar.
“The DNA of the brand is still so strong and resonates with so many people. The ’90s and early 2000s, that was the ‘It’ brand – at the shows, they had all the ‘It’ girls walking, and I just love stuff like that,” Roach said.
To develop the 25-look line, Roach and his team crafted an inspiration board filled with ideas from past Hervé collections and images he had “banked on Instagram for the past couple of years.” From there, he, creative director Christian Juul Nielsen and the Hervé Léger team collaborated from initial sketch feedback to sample fittings between New York and Los Angeles.
“Working with Christian has been a dream. From the brand side, Melissa Lefere-Cobb [senior vice president, division head at Hervé Léger], has been amazing,” Roach said. “What I think is the most beautiful thing about the collaboration — I went in, I run a business, and understand the bottom line, but it was ‘do whatever you want.’ Even when Christian and I were in design mode, he said to ‘do whatever you feel passionate about, there’s no mistakes.’ To come into a brand and not be stifled, it was amazing to me.”
Homage was dutifully paid. Within the lineup, striped bandage dresses with matching gloves were influenced by the brand’s spring 1997 collection, updated in a modern palette of neutrals, with touches of lavender — an easy, timeless, and universal palette for any skin tone and complexion Roach noted. Ditto to the sexy and sophisticated silk charmeuse dresses with strappy bandage tops.
Roach also peppered in intriguing tonal scribble-shaped embroideries (as on a slick black catsuit), soft draping, sculptural cutouts and layering techniques with styling versatility, merchandising and pricing top of mind.
“I dream of things being on a rail in a retailer, and I wanted the rail to look pretty. That comes from when I’m styling and my clients come into a fitting, everything is color coordinated by length. I took that part of my everyday work and translated it into the way people would walk up and see the collection,” he said.
Prices are $690 to $2,900.
Whether shopping for investment pieces, looking for holiday attire, or seeking day-to-night styles for “on or off the red carpet,” Roach advocates for the clothes to be lived and loved in, again and again.
“I’m really passionate about women and dressing women. The fact that I get to dress hopefully millions of women and I’ll see them — I want to stop and talk about the clothes, I plan to go to the stores. I’m really excited, it’s a proud moment to be who I am and come from where I’ve come from and to go into these retailers and see my name on a tag.”
Roach also served as creative director of the Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya collection, and wants to do more in the design space.
“If brands read this and want to collaborate, let’s talk about it,” he joked.
“Fingers crossed and god willing, the collaboration will be really successful and maybe there will be another season with Hervé because it’s been an absolute pleasure. This collection is really unique and from my heart, imagination, and research. It’s been such a dream and I’d love to do it again with them.”