Rising star: Simone Rocha shows artworks alongside fashion at first London store
Since her London Fashion Week debut in September 2010, Simone Rocha’s fashion star has been rapidly rising. Her bold interpretation of femininity and ability to blend craft techniques with contemporary textures and materials has seen her label scoop a sizable haul of accolades, including the 2013 ’Emerging Designer’ British Fashion Award, ’Young Designer of the Year’ at the Harper’s Women of the Year Awards 2014 and the 2014 British Fashion Award for ’New Establishment Designer’ (not to mention our very own ’Best Future Fashion’ Wallpaper* Award in 2013).
This year marks the next step in the young designer’s career, with the opening of her first eponymous store on London’s Mount Street. Elaborating on themes from her collections, as well as featuring sculptures and furniture previously seen in her shop-in-shops in Dover Street Market, and installations in Colette and IT Beijing Market, the new store’s design and displays explore subjects of art, family, nature, Ireland and Asia.
With whitewashed walls, concrete floors and light flooding in from windows at either end of the space, the open-plan layout has the feel of an art gallery. Thus, it seems fitting that Rocha has filled the space with art works as well as fashion.
Displayed alongside Rocha’s ready-to-wear, bags, shoes, knitwear and jewellery are furniture pieces and artworks including a glazed ceramic chandelier by Los Angeles artist Pae White, a set of three original lithographs by Francis Bacon from 1984 and a set of four of Easy chairs (Model 4801) designed by Joe Colombo for Kartell in the 1960s. Artworks created by Rocha herself include a special decorative floral plaster cornice and a pink onyx desk, while her father John Rocha has designed an impressive set of curved seats, carved from Italian Crema Marfil marble.
In the window space sits a giant stainless steel mesh and acrylic plastic sculpture by Simone Rocha and Janina Pedan, covered with hand-stitched pale pink and scarlet embroidery flowers, echoing those found on the designer’s A/W 2015 tulle dresses.
Rocha plans to evolve the display each season and create a product offering exclusive to the store. To coincide with the opening, shoppers will be able to pick up a limited edition book by the designer that features new and existing work created by her many collaborators, alongside other inspiring artists including Perry Ogden, Louise Bourgeois and Ross McDonnell, to name just a few.