In the aptly grand setting of London’s Guildhall, with its backdrop of stained glass windows, Simone Rocha sent out her most accomplished collection to date.
So sure is she of her signature, Rocha need only follow her trajectory, refine her girl and provide her with ever more tantalising clothes – which she did. But, like any favourite student of the late Central Saint Martins’ professor, Louise Wilson, Rocha would never do just that. She is a risk taker and a grafter. Combine that with huge talent and you have a collection that was poetry in motion.
She had been looking at the work of French artist Louise Bourgeois. ‘I’ve loved her work since I was a teenager, how it’s so personal and how she works with so many contrasting materials,’ she said. Hence her girl, festooned in ruffles and pearls – by now her signature codes – looked just as brilliant in transparent and embroidered dresses as she did in a rich tapestry chenille cape. The looks were grander, regal even, particularly when cut from bold brocades and horsehair.
Every look here added to the feeling that Rocha’s collections are collectable for generations of women – not just her age group – clothes to cherish and wear for years to come.
As Rocha’s mentor, the blunt-speaking Louise Wilson, once told me: ‘Simone is like a fine wine. The thing I find interesting and brave about her work is that it is so deeply personal and she puts it out there, and that’s really quite rare for a female designer. I think women pick up on that; they sense something very sincere and honest in her clothes which feels refreshing and new.’
Images above, Imaxtree.com