Dark and passionate: Inspired by the sombre and romantic vibe of her native Ireland, Simone Rocha’s SS 14 collection at LFW was one of the few that bore the signature of inspired authenticity.
It brought Susie Bubble to tears, the New York Times mused about the influence of her dad, while Dazed and Confused were hoarse with excitement. For a collection of garments in mostly understated colour, made mostly from victorian fabrics, and cuts eschewing obvious female form, Simone Rocha’s sure caused a stir.
Rocha admitted to Dazed and Confused that an exhibition she saw earlier this year – of Japanese artist Araki – had been an inspiration for the collection.
“Araki’s Kinbaku series is his most controversial and the one Rocha closely referenced after experiencing it in the flesh at Michael Hoppen Contemporary earlier this year. She gracefully translated his vision to her designs: skirts were split and tattered, mirroring the rigid kimonos Araki splayed open to reveal his subjects’ bound breasts and flailing legs.”
Araki and Rocha – from Dazed and Confused
Sex. It rarely does not pique people’s interest. But it wasn’t obvious in your face salaciousness or exhibitionism that Rocha played with. Rather it was – what people sensed was a very personal – exploration of what it means to be female today, to grow up, to be strong but at the same time be desired. One sensed the contradiction in modern femininity – what does it mean to be independent but to belong, or even being possessed?
Said Susie Bubble:
“She was passing comment on a female’s formative rites of passage, from innocent childhood, to a sexual awakening, to finding a soulmate and then joining with them in union. All the while Rocha created incredibly evocative and desirable clothes. Girls who hate all things sugar n’ spice and all things nice, left the show swooning. They got the memo that Rocha gave them license to mash up femininity and masculinity in harmonious ways.”
Veiled and wedded – from Style Bubble
One of the reasons we Miista’s like Rocha’s work is precisely this, like us she has a complicated relationship with femininity. We love feminine aesthetics and its the place from where we start our creative process, but at the same time almost always feel a need to balance it with the masculine. No wonder like Miista, brogues have become one of Rocha’s signature fashion items.
Rocha, only 27 (as far as we can calculate) is also a denizen of Hackney. Her studio in Dalston less than a mile away from ours. She is from a family with fashion pedigree. Her dad is arguably Ireland’s most famous living fashion designer, and originally from Hong Kong.
Now, if we can have her over for tea.
Simone and her dad John Rocha