Mad flowers, yards of whisper-light marabou feather trim and head turning 3D, appliqued red floral prints sent Simone Rocha's growing army of fans into paroxysms of delight at London Fashion Week yesterday.
Simone only turned 28 last Thursday yet the Dubliner possesses a remarkable maturity for someone so young and a gifted ability to expand her aesthetic and signature handwriting every season.
Her SS15 collection show at St Andrew's church in Holborn had a true sense of occasion yesterday and guests sat in pews, waiting with reverence, to go on the next stage of Simone's so far thrilling, fashion journey.
The sudden burst of organ music made our hearts beat faster and when the first of the 35 models emerged in a black strapless dress with right angled asymmetric hemline, guests held their breath and drank in the vista of wave-after-wave of different colour stories stepping through the aisles and across the checkerboard floor.
There was a fidelity there for successful silhouettes which have Simone's DNA written all over them such as the dresses with exaggerated side panelling. Concepts for accessories were reprised but developed in new, innovative formats and fabrications.
Simone's tulle tailoring was faultless. She excels at originality and introduced us to old school, Hong Kong oilcloth for floral brogues to the thoroughly wearable, stunning white wallpaper brocade dresses with scalloped edge, a detail she also introduced to her gloves.
They were greeted with a sharp intake of breath and ditto the white dresses covered with embroidered flowers on top and multi leafed Carrickmacross crocheted flowers on the bottom.
Venturing into floral prints, Simone gave it everything, adding individual, appliqued flower heads which created a heighted and glorious, tufted 3D effect. Wearing her clothes is a total, textural experience from head to toe and all points in between.
The silver and gold metallic jacquard dresses which closed the show were exquisite and trimmed with marabou but just how practical the cosy slippers and footwear trimmed with feathers will be is another
Those covetable large vanity case handbags bags that Simone introduced last year are back again, trimmed with feathers.
A belted trench coat is far from boring in the hands of Simone who gave it to us in pink and buttery gold but I liked it best embroidered with red flowers and worn with pink brogues.
Afterwards I spoke with the designer's dad, John Rocha, who admitted he was finding it "a little odd" being at London Fashion Week without a show of his own, having retired from that aspect of his design career earlier this year.
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