Simone's army of women of all ages seduces with its catwalk story-telling
Simone Rocha's 'Marching Roses' AW17 collection at London Fashion Week presented strong women, of all ages, stepping out in a tough armour.
The look was softened by delicate flowers, beading and contradictory layering that was totally seductive in its story-telling.
The 30-year-old Dublin-born designer opened her show on Saturday with gleaming, bonded velvet trench coats and suits toughened up with Sam Brown belts.
Romantic floral embellished tulles were layered up in bewildering, intriguing confections of rich reds and blacks.
There were glimpses of dense red and black crystal beading popping up on socks, fur stoles and on pretty black pinafore dresses worn with gingham shirts.
Simone's female army were kitted out in monochrome, window pane chequered tweeds with a Prince of Wales detail, some trimmed with faux fur on the pockets - judicious continuity of her SS17 suiting, something her committed customers will enjoy.
The inclusion of four older models alongside current runway stars was welcomed universally.
Simone's father John explained that two had walked for him - Cecilia Chancellor in London in 1993 and Marie Sophie Wilson in Paris in 1995.
Back straight, salt and pepper hair scraped back, 73-year-old Italian modelling star Benedetta Barzini marched through Lancaster House in a stunning full-skirted black dress, its surface covered in crocheted black leather flowers.
Another silver-haired beauty, Jan de Villeneuve, shot to fame working with David Bailey and Norman Parkinson and at 70, she walked for Rocha in a glossy black, faux fur belted coat, bow leather bag and tulle skirt.
At first glance, sliders and tall ankle socks may not be for everyone but I've no doubt that Simone's fur-lined, bejewelled footwear will become a style trend, just like her crystal-heeled brogues.
Hand plaited braids provided alternative cross-body belting and suiting was softened with generous faux fur stoles and 'messenger boy' leather bags which hung from belts.
There was a constant intrigue with what lay beneath and at Lancaster House, guests leaned forward for a better view of the fast-moving female army layered in organza embroidered with floral motifs in reds and yellows.
Models walked purposefully and carried their bags like hot water bottles to their chests.
Simone explained how the collection was her "interpretation of armour as a kind of camouflage".
Favourite looks included a cream tulle dress embroidered with sprigs of red and pink flowers worn under a luxuriously generous-sized faux fur wrap embroidered with clumps of sparking red crystals and a cream and black crocheted dress worn with furry slipper shoes.
Topshop's packed AW17 show at the Tate Modern in Bankside was all about the urban traveller, but the highlight was undoubtedly the clutch of fluid dresses that hid little, and played up toned bums, with sculptural curves. Bias cut, the dresses slipped nonchalantly off shoulders and as the PR put it, they "spelt sinuous glamour".