Runway report: John Rocha

The family that sews together shows together. After enjoying her father’s support at her catwalk show earlier on Saturday, Simone Rocha hustled down to Somerset House to take a lesson in LFW longevity from John Rocha CBE.

Referencing Sean Scully paintings and Hong Kong’s Happy Valley Race Track, Rocha showed a predominantly black collection where cut, texture and proportion comprised the palette.

The show opened with an inflated taffeta jacket over a narrow silk skirt, introducing the contrasts that would carry on through the remaining looks. Heavy Mongolian lambskin coats came with caped backs, cutaways and belted details that emphasized the delicacy of the slips beneath.


Rocha tempts audiences to reconsider classic shapes by distorting whatever was expected. A pussybow blouse became something far witchier with the designer’s exaggerated bell sleeves. A lace dress gained amoebic embroidery that rendered it more muscular than delicate. This lace, as far from handmade Chantilly as could be, looked like it had metastasised in petri dishes in a forgotten science lab’s back room, it was so organic.

Terrific gowns of patchworked lace, velvet and silk chiffon followed the lines of the body with reverence and understanding—the kind that only decades on the LFW stage can bring.

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