Simone Rocha's Irish Love Affair. And ours...

Simone Rocha’s career to date reads like a case study on how to climb the fashion ladder:

A BA in Fashion from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, a Fashion MA from Central Saint Martins then plucked for Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East initiative. A better springboard nobody could argue. But then more, after her first solo show for spring 12 several endorsement by Lady Gaga - one of which was on the cover of ELLE - Rocha’s ascent steepened more vertical still. Never could anyone accuse Simone of getting a leg-up from her designer father John Rocha.

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This her second solo show worked on her well-trodden mix of the boy-girl equation. Now with a finesse and polish that ranks Rocha as a favourite viewing of the week, as evidenced by the scrum to witness it.

Rocha was working on a vision of new and old Ireland from the 30s: wild meets refined, oversized mannish Teddy coats mixed with pretty guipure and corded lace. We’ve seen a big coat over a pretty dress many times but here it was fresh again, brought to new life by touchy-feely textures like crochet yarns, great tufted wools on PVC and mohair you wanted to reach out and stroke. Starched pointed collars – it’s all about the collars still – sat on top of Perspex tunics and mirror leathers. The much-lauded Perspex heeled brogues from yester-season replaced by a less scary, more commercial flatform equivalent. Clever Colette and Dover Street Market for buying in to Simone Rocha early in her career, everyone in the audience wanted a piece of it for themselves today. But will Gaga?

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