Simone Rocha's collection for Fall 2014 was marked by a feast for the eyes in which the viewer was bombarded by a sea of fur coats, the deepest reds and gold embellishments. I was struck by visions of the Victorian-era and the romanticised notion "old money" emanated from the classic designs from the prominent designer. At the tender age of twenty-eight, a baby by industry standards Rocha has firmly established herself as a noteworthy and favourite designer who is not afraid to let their personal style influence each season's collection. Au contraire! This is part of Rocha's allure, that she is able to create a narrative and use her own sense of nostalgia to retell the story of her own life through clothes. Reinventing those flattering coats, ruffled dresses and tulle designs has become a craft honed over several seasons but they yet to lose their charm, but I can't help but wonder whether Rocha will venture outside these tried and true designs.
Every season I delight in dissecting the shoes Rocha releases coincident with each collection Fall 2014 sees a slightly pointier toed shoe, fur lined bedroom slippers and flattering mid-calf boots. While I would have to agree, the crowd does not gasp in the same way an audience at Alexander McQueen might there is a kind of assurance that no models will topple over during the show, but these shoes still manage to retain a street-style-worthy status. The collection ended on a high closing with shiny pairs of golden brogues and loafers secured by gold chains screaming high fashion. As great as all that sounds, what I'm really eager to get my hands on are the brogues which match the embellishment on some of the dresses. There's a pair in pink with a red contrasting chain, camel colored flats with a strap made from a tinsel-like material and a few other combinations that caught my eye.
Rocha's main weapon against the cold was gargantuan coats with more ruffles than you can poke a stick at and a silhouette to rival Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garcons. I say that fondly, I'm increasingly becoming obsessed with Comme each day and I think there's something be said for the comfort of cocoon-like coats in Winter. And the promise of emerging in the Springtime in a cloud of colour is enough to brighten even the darkest of Winter days. These coats are far removed from the boring duffel coats peddled out by factory retailers which, as you can probably tell from my tone I am beginning to loathe. It's just getting to a certain point in Winter where everyone looks like their wearing the same thing and boys and girls are a dime a dozen and it's driving me crazy! Sorry, I didn't mean to rant but I have high praise for designers who generate unique designs and are real leaders in the anti-boredom campaign.
The absurdity or rather, frivolity of showing a lace dress for a Fall collection constitutes one of the many things I love about fashion. There is a certain freedom of expression which compels the designer when they are financially secure and finally we can see the clothes they were destined to make after years of hard work in art school. I mean obviously there are limits to public consumption where nudity is concerned (#freethenip2014) but this lacy piece still remains tasteful and the attitude of the model really lifts it. Largely I feel that long sleeved dresses and tops are a little more demure and when I have fallen in love with the pattern or design of the piece I am even happier to cover myself in it from head to toe. Plus the almost religious design of the lacework and nod to the Elizabethan royal family has me hooked- I'm much happier these days to vicariously explore ancient history through clothing and as a kind of re imagined costume than I ever was studying books (although there was a time when I enjoyed doing that too!).
The final and obviously most sensible choice for Fall was fur and as always Rocha delivered when it came to making thick and chunky textures feminine and a delight to watch on the catwalk. What I find most fascinating about her approach to presentation is the offering of different styles and silhouettes made from the same material, interspersed with unique one off pieces like the above outfit. I got 2001 Space Odyssey vibes mixed together with a futuristic Teddy Bear's picnic. That sounds kind of lame but you can't deny that that particular shade of brown and fur thickness doesn't remind you of a cuddly toy. I wish I had been there in person to observe the movement of this skirt from side on- my curiosity is beyond the comprehension of two dimensional profiles lifted from style.com and I have the longing to hear the noise of the show and feed off the undoubted buzz of the crowd.
Tartan outfits were made demure in matching cropped skirt suits preceded by tougher, androgynous suits that the supreme being Tilda Swinton was made to wear. I can't decide which variation I like more, probably the ruffled crop top and knee length skirt purely because my hair is long at the moment but if I were to have a slicked back do some patent leather brogues combined with tailored trousers would be more up my alley. There's so many different variables to think about when considering the proportions of different outfits and how best to show them off... or maybe I am over complicating matters as is my want to do. All rambling thoughts aside, I was super impressed with just about everything from this collection but as always I am attracted to the use of colours and patterns so the red plaid items are on my wishlist- or they would be if I wasn't so damn poor.