Simone Rocha goes Elizabethan for fall

Simone Rocha: Runway - London Fashion Week AW14


Simone Rocha: Runway - London Fashion Week AW14
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11:05 a.m.
“She is my favourite designer here,” I overhear Suzy Menkes, who is seated to my right, tell her granddaughter. I can only assume she’s talking about Simone Rocha as she goes on to ask the little girl to take pictures of the show with her iPhone. On the other side of Suzy, I see a writer from The New York Times and Anna Wintour. No pressure, Simone.

11:17 a.m.
In a lot of ways, Simone Rocha’s eccentric style encapsulates that hard-to-pin-down, wonderfully weird quality that most of us associate with the London girl’s style. But she does it with a certain creative risk and measured execution that makes her show worthy of having Anna and Suzy sitting front frow. The question is, how is she going to evolve the very specific look she’s established (doll-like bustle skirts and dresses) in a way that feels original new? This season, she’s answered that by marrying her very old Elizabethan shapes with very now fabrics and textiles such as yellow python and black pony skin. It’s a move that stops her exaggerated shapes from looking like costume, while keeping the theatrical flair that her fangirl wants. By and large, the most wearable pieces are the black ones, prim coats and dresses decorated with frills, in bonded wool and twill. But it’s the python skirt suits, as wild and outlandish as they are, that demand to be bought and worn. Yes, I just said that. There’s something unrealistic about it — outside of Fashion Week, I can’t think of too many occasions in which yellow snakeskin ruffles would make sense. But this is exactly the kind of moment that keeps fashion, always bogged down by the need to sell, exciting and a young designer’s work, always accompanied by the pressure to top the last round, exciting and fresh.

The scene
Power editors, friends and family. Her designer dad, John Rocha, leads the standing ovation front row.

The major trends
Fur, contrasting texture and embellishments. Simone gets extra points for not going overboard with the beadwork.

What this will mean for your wardrobe
How can I forget to mention it: pink! The colour, which Simone helped make popular, was here in all it’s girly glory.


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