Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Simone Rocha’s AW’24 collection unveiled at London Fashion Week

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Fans have been on a journey with the Dublin-born design since last September when Simone showed ‘The Procession,’ the first part of the Triptych during London Fashion Week SS’24.

The middle element of this artistic journey was unveiled in Paris last month when she showed ‘The Procession,’ a critically acclaimed couture collection as guest designer for Jean Paul Gaultier

And so to the final reveal, which came on Saturday night at St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield, the oldest surviving church in the capital, where Simone showed ‘The Wake.

Simone Rocha AW24 London Fashion Week Credit: Ben Broomfield

With 50 looks, it her biggest show ever and the sustained applause in Paris was repeated, with the addition of loud cheers in London.

The designer’s Victoriana-meets-punk Princess aesthetic has unfolded over the last decade and this season, she found inspiration in Queen Victoria’s mourning clothes worn over 40 years.

Faux fur hemline on new brogue shoes

Simone got access to the royal archives and white gloved at Hampton Court Palace, she peeled back layers of history. With access to the Gaultier archives in Paris, the Irish designer’s interest in preserved garments only intensified. ­­

Backstage Simone explained how mourning dress had been “almost like a uniform, a security blanket” and how she was really interested in the underpinnings, the undergarments, the pieces that were on the skin and then looking at skin itself.

The ultimate comfort blankets in the show were the 3D animals which nestled in the arms of the models walking down the aisles of the mediaeval church.

Corsetry details in Simone Rocha show

Naturally, given ‘The Wake’ theme, black was a dominant colour, for men and women, told in contrasting textures from luxe beaded wools to sheer tulles.

Simone opened with a nude tulle suit with gathered shorts and closed with a long black two piece with statement earrings of long plaited satin.

There were lots of touches from the central triptych brought forward for further exploration like plaited details down the front of a very ladylike coat and also down the side of corsets and basques which formed a strong layering element in the show.

Shorts are big as are hoodies in tulle. Simone introduced shades of blue, from a short navy coat with plaited side to an ice blue top paired with sheer long skirt embellished with stones to a more casual, inky blue parka glamourized with corsets and clutches of tulle.

Tumbling satin earrings

There’s a strong storyline in faux fur, from coats, jackets, stoles, pockets and oversized mitten gloves to deep trims on hemlines.

Simone’s signatures bows have expanded onto shoulders of trailing scarves and multiplied on tumbling earrings.

The designer’s front row was full of family and friends like Alexa Chung who was seated beside Irish actor Andrew Scott. Other guests included Grian Chatten, Conor Curley and Tom Coll from the Fontaines D.C.

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