Into the West: Simone Rocha derives inspiration from the extreme elements
DUBLIN designer's London fashion show was dramatic, hard, wet and masculine says fashion editor Bairbre Power.
The one downside to a critically acclaimed AW13 collection is that you must equal it, or, if your Simone Rocha, you'll want to better it.
The 27-year-old Dubliner did just at London Fashion Week today and enthralled the audience with a supremely individual take on Spring Summer 2014 and a commercially well judged collection inspired by the West of Ireland.
Hard and wet, dark and ugly, masculine and tailored, embellished and pearled, Simone told her appealing fashion tale in a wide range of contrasting fabrics, from thick tulle to metallic gold jacquards and a leather sequence in a mossy green.
There were sexy satin slip dresses in shades of lichen or cream and checkerboard but the highlights for me were the opening pieces of embroidered plastic with trapped hand crochet cotton and the bridal pieces at the end.
There was romance throughout but the Rocha modern bride works with shades of cream and peach, with drama created by a shawl of tulle over the head and tied in a giant bow.
While the silhouettes were girly and constantly evolved through the show- from strappy sun tops to duster coats and sculpted dresses with low peplums and ruffles- it was Simone's deft use of innovative fabrics like the embroidered plastic which earned her immediate respect.
Pearls cropped up everywhere, from necklines to shoes and dotted around the tops of sheer, knee-high socks which sent many girls swooning.
Front row guest included Ali Hewson, Bella Freud, Portia Freemen, Suzy Menkes, Scheherazade Goldsmith and Talulah Harlech.
Simone's proud parents, John and Odette were joined by brother Max who curated the music and later a delighted John said back stage, "I don't know how she does it."