Simone Rocha London Fashion Week Women’s S/S 2019
Mood board: Twice-yearly shows present an intriguing conundrum for designers in these fast moving times. So much can change in the months between a collection going on sale and the next one winging its way to the stockroom. Each is a premonition for what we might need next. Rocha’s feminine vision takes all of the hallmarks – the textures, the colours, the poufy shapes, the pearls and sweetness – and skews it. So pockets are lined with marabou, lapels are layered that extra time, sheer fabrics are thrown on top of outfits, lending a subversive kink. The season ahead has a palette of pure white, pale lavender, shocking Argento red and bright black. Femininity is constructed with humour, elegance. The puff-ball dresses and closing strapless gowns were stuffed with joy.
Scene setting: What better time for a splash of modern-day glamour in these dreary days? Rocha knows what joy is locked in the glint of a metallic textile, the wink of a swinging hem. The Simone Rocha woman is eccentric – she wears flat pointed mules lined with marabou fur, carries a pearl studded handbag and loves flowers and hats and a frill. And as is befitting for a label so well loved for its lavish quirkiness and off-kilter couture-ish kitsch, Rocha invited guests back to Lancaster House mansion in St James, a stand-in for Buckingham Palace in TV and film.
Best in show: The collection took the meaning of Sunday Best and ramped it up into a magical froth of poetical, dreamy clothes. There were suits that put cropped trench coats with matching below the knee skirts. Wallpaper brocade and rich floral tapestries were cut into operatic frock-coats and cheongsam blouses or tailored long shorts. Silk taffeta balloon skirts and giant puffy sleeves extended from tiered, tweaked, scalloped dresses. 18th century paintings of Chinese women were blown up onto the front of dresses, their faces half obscured with a layer of sheer silk. §