Simone Rocha's Spring 2015 collection and debut at St Andrew’s Church in Holborn was truly a testament to her dedication towards texture and romanticism. You will undoubtedly be familiar with her work by now praised as a must see designer at London Fashion Week and her featured in the prominent publication Dazed & Confused as modeled by reality star and model outsider Kendall Jenner. What excites me most about Rocha aside from her overall success (especially as it's associated with youth) is that she's truly marching to the beat of her own drum and purely focused on creating clothes to dress herself and the women around her. In a way, she represents the ideals of what fashion means to me. Her designs are a reflection of freedom of expression through clothing and textiles and appear inextricably linked with her evolution and identity. All this has worked out for her and she has been touted as 'the cool girl' of the fashion world, seemingly untouchable and equally unstoppable. Since the Meadham Kirchhoff debacle I can't help but feel impending dread and apprehension surrounding any designer I cherish in this economy.
Style.com writer Maya Singer seemed somewhat disdainful when acknowledging the prominent use of marabou throughout the collection used to embellish everything from the bust to hemlines. I don't know why she took that sort of tone- perhaps she had a bad experience on a farm involve fluffy baby chicks or ducks. Killer ducks attacking and mauling her leaving the air shrouded in a veil of duck down. If you've kept up with my blog for a while now you'll have noticed I love marabou and particularly fluffy marabou earrings produced by Melbourne based label POMS. So naturally I was ecstatic to find its inclusion in clothing as well as accessories by a higher profile, British designer. I know I'm more than a little slow to comment on what was presented more than four months ago but coursework and exams during November typically leaves me with a large backlog of things to write about. Since I've been eying off a number of Simone Rocha designs on various online stores it seemed fitting that I talk about it now.
Delaying this post also fortuitously coincides with the hype surrounding Valentine's Day and renewed debate amongst fashion circles about whether red and pink can be worn together. Personally I find "style rules" to be a nuisance obstructing creativity or blocking it altogether but as I understand it, not everyone wants to evoke an edgy 1950s housewife aesthetic. It requires a certain kind of dedication to achieve hair that big- let alone find a coordinating headscarf and pair of suitably sassy sunglasses. The air of rebellion or likeness to Thelma & Louise (1991), as well as evocation of Rochas Spring 2012 (I'm still pining over those sunglasses btw) has me swooning. The culmination of all these sources of inspiration has led me to obsessively think about 'walking out on all commitments' looks. As well as proto-feminism and the idea of strong women written into historical settings or those individuals who struggle to overcome the systemic nature of the patriarchy.
Rocha's use of sheer was notable in comparison to previous collections but tastefully decorated with a heavy dowsing of floral. While it may seem counter-intuitive to combine feminine florals with suggestive sheer English majors and lovers of literature alike will be well versed in the metaphors and 'flowery language' of eighteenth century romantic poets and likes of William Shakespeare. These threads of female sexuality are continually weaved throughout the runway presentation culminating in scalloped trench coats and finally metallic show-stopper dresses. Despite a more summery colour palette there is still a brooding undertone evident in all of Rocha's work, highlighted here by windblown locks and sheer veils. It's amazing that there are so many different contexts in which these clothes can be viewed simply evoked by the shape, silhouette and colour of the clothes and yet there is no one fixed meaning or set of influences. With that is the number of different ways these pieces can be worn and incorporated into the daily lives of women around the world.
Photos: Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com