Simone Rocha’s ladylike deconstruction
Poetic, romantic and received with an enormous burst of applause, the latest collection by Simone Rocha summed up what a great designer and fashion force she has become.
Staged inside Middle Temple, a storied church deep within the great courts of central London, these spring clothes had all the gentle beauty that one associates with Rocha. Victorian dresses worthy of the schoolgirls in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, but deconstructed to the max – with shards of dangling material, lace cutouts and twisted fabric flowers.
Rocha’s clothes manage to be highly artistic yet rather prim and always ladylike. Her most dramatic looks were floating black calico cloaks bedecked with giant petals. Moreover, probably no designer in London creates such influential footwear. This season: feather covered slip-ons with pearl trim and marvelously thick high-heels with beveled Perspex heels. You know they will be copied, yet the cleverness of Simone’s originals will never be captured.
“It’s all about kind of naivety and playfulness and breaking down the projections of last season. I wanted to do something very fragile and childlike – almost a little girl dressing up in her mother’s clothes. These are exaggerated versions of my clothes with loads of frills and deconstruction that falls all the way to the floor. Volume that comes apart and pearls all struck underneath,” smiled Rocha breathlessly backstage.
Even the invitation was naïve: a simple white page with two childish sketches sewn on in red thread. The same pattern embroidered onto some sublime white frocks at the finale.
All told, a great Irish day out, with proud father John – just back from fly fishing in Quebec where he caught several 20-pound salmon – basking in the warm glow of his daughter’s fine display; along with Dublin photographer Perry Ogden and Jasmine Guinness, scion of the drink’s empire and former top model. “It was simply too beautiful. Bravo Simone,” cooed Jasmine after embracing the designer.
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