Thursday 29 September 2016

Bairbre Power: the romance of Rocha

There is so much to love about Simone's take on dresses for the new season

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

White rope detail dress.
White rope detail dress.
€3,100; black languid dress, €1,170 and patent bag with perspex handle.
Rust floral silk dress, €1,840, all from Havana, Donnybrook.
Car print skirt, €1,400.
Scuba spongy tailored pink bow jacket, €1,375, (a shorter version of the coat shown)
Black scuba-jersey top with bow detail on shoulders and beaded strap.

There was a 'take your breath away' quality to Simone Rocha's SS16 show at London Fashion Week last September and the collection, inspired by a visit to Kyoto, has been dropping steadily into Havana in Donnybrook, Simone's sole stockist in Ireland.

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You often see the ladies there, who I call the SRC, - Simone Rocha collectors -who view the pieces as just that, collectible works of art, where her vision unfolds with highly original silhouettes that are as thrilling to wear as they are to dream about owning.

Simone's latest collection is a true celebration of what she calls "hyper-modern femininity." It was impossible not to be smitten by the romantic dresses, full of tenderness yet toughened up for the show with bondage-like woven ropes. There were some stunning silhouettes but it is Simone's genius with contrasting textures and surface detail which really mark her out as the one to watch - and collect.

The SS16 collection was, deservedly, critiqued as Simone's strongest to date and the traffic to her chic new store in London's Mount Street underlines the growing international appreciation of the talents of this 29-year-old Dubliner. Indeed, an indication of Simone's stellar standing on the world fashion stage came last year when the industry style bible, WWD, shortlisted Simone as a possible replacement for Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, along with young talents like Olivier Rousteing, Huishan Zhang and Joseph Altuzarra.

It's been a delight to chronicle her journey to date, from the day she talked me through her graduate collection to her Pepto Bismol pink mesh coat, her passion for pearls, the Elizabeth shapes in Fall '14, the thrown-on glamour of those tartan capes last season, not to forget her signature perspex heels.

Brilliant for unusual fabrics, this season she's used a spongy-feel scuba jersey in pink and black with cross-body belting and bows. For me, the standout piece is the full skirted white dress (above right) with silver rope detail. Incredibly romantic, it is entirely appropriate that this dress should arrive into Havana this weekend, just in time for Valentine's Day.

@bairbrepower

Top with a twist

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Entry price for Simone Rocha at Havana is €210 for a T-shirt. The scuba-jersey bow bag is €305 and the black scuba-jersey top (above) with bow detail on shoulders and beaded strap is €950.

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