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VIDEO: Romance in the air as Rocha woos with flirtatious florals

THERE'S life in the old dog yet.

And three weeks after his 60th birthday, John Rocha has delivered one of his finest, most alluring collections in years at London Fashion Week.

His spring/summer 2014 show this weekend was a masterclass in how to take what you are good at, such as texture, embellishment and layering in black and ivory, and make them exceptional and desirable.

John created drama with mesmerising fabrics and feminine shapes. There was whisper-light black tulle embroidered with gold raffia, exquisite lacquered and glazed laces and a stunning finale dress created with loops of organza piping.

His unexpected use of big blossom prints was inspired by rose gardens in the south of France and equally delightful were the wide-brimmed trellis hats, which cast a delicious shadow over ultra-simple, bias-cut georgette sheaths.

ELEGANCE

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Cara Delevingne attends Paula Goldsteins voyagedetudes.com launch in the Punch Room at The London EDITION on September 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for The London EDITION)

Cara Delevingne attends Paula Goldsteins voyagedetudes.com launch in the Punch Room at The London EDITION on September 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for The London EDITION)

(L to R) Portia Freeman, Angela Scanlon, Polly Morgan and Arlissa attend the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week

(L to R) Portia Freeman, Angela Scanlon, Polly Morgan and Arlissa attend the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week

Samantha Barks (L) and Portia Freeman attend the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week SS14

Samantha Barks (L) and Portia Freeman attend the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week SS14

Samantha Barks

Samantha Barks

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Polly Morgan attends the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week SS14 at Heron Tower on September 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Whistles)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Polly Morgan attends the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week SS14 at Heron Tower on September 14, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Whistles)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Angela Scanlon attends the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week SS14 at Heron Tower on September 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Whistles)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Angela Scanlon attends the front row at the Whistles show during London Fashion Week SS14 at Heron Tower on September 14, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Whistles)

Amber Anderson

Amber Anderson

Arlissa

Arlissa

Portia Freeman

Portia Freeman

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 14: Jameela Jamil is sighted during London Fashion Week on September 14, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 14: Jameela Jamil is sighted during London Fashion Week on September 14, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)

Laura Bailey attends the Sister By Sibling show during London Fashion Week

Laura Bailey attends the Sister By Sibling show during London Fashion Week

Laura Whitmore is sighted during London Fashion Week

Laura Whitmore is sighted during London Fashion Week

Lady Victoria Hervey is sighted during London Fashion Week

Lady Victoria Hervey is sighted during London Fashion Week

Josephine de la Baume attends the front row at the Whistles show

Josephine de la Baume attends the front row at the Whistles show

Mutya Buena, Siobhan Donaghy and Keisha Buchanan are sighted during London Fashion Week

Mutya Buena, Siobhan Donaghy and Keisha Buchanan are sighted during London Fashion Week

Amber Atherton attends the Bora Aksu show during London Fashion Week SS14

Amber Atherton attends the Bora Aksu show during London Fashion Week SS14

Laura Whitmore attends the Bora Aksu show during London Fashion Week SS14

Laura Whitmore attends the Bora Aksu show during London Fashion Week SS14

Harry Styles attends the Ian Schrager and Arne Sorensen (Marriott CEO) hosted cocktails and canapes at The London EDITION

Harry Styles attends the Ian Schrager and Arne Sorensen (Marriott CEO) hosted cocktails and canapes at The London EDITION

Presenter Laura Whitmore attends the Zoe Jordan show during London Fashion Week

Presenter Laura Whitmore attends the Zoe Jordan show during London Fashion Week

Laura Whitmore attends the Fyodor Golan show during London Fashion Week SS14

Laura Whitmore attends the Fyodor Golan show during London Fashion Week SS14

Alexa Chung attends the Ian Schrager and Arne Sorensen (Marriott CEO) hosted cocktails and canapes at The London EDITION

Alexa Chung attends the Ian Schrager and Arne Sorensen (Marriott CEO) hosted cocktails and canapes at The London EDITION

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Cara Delevingne attends Paula Goldsteins voyagedetudes.com launch in the Punch Room at The London EDITION on September 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for The London EDITION)

Hard and soft, tough yet tender, the collection explored contemporary elegance and was a true celebration of romance, as John had intended.

The audience sat up as his first model arrived out in a dress of white organza embroidered with individual red flowers and there were plenty of surprises around the corner as 25 models with corrugated hair presented very individual looks ranging from sheer, sexy, see-through georgette to full-skirted, 1950s-style frocks.

Highlights included a slim, black silhouette with peplum of shredded georgette, and a cloud-effect ivory organza skirt with scattered fabric roses.

"After 27 years in London, I feel that unless I had something to say, I shouldn't be here. I am very proud of this collection," said John.

Video of the Day

Irish designers held London Fashion Week audiences captivated over the weekend.

Zoe Jordan served us the ultimate capsule wardrobe of streetwear through to eveningwear. JW Anderson put women in men's print pyjamas and men in kilts (see panel).

We visited Orla Kiely, the queen of print, who hosted a holiday trip where the girl guide in you goes on fashion safari.

Orla also treated us to a preview of her '70s-inspired shoe collaboration with Clarks with lots of ankle-tied sandals that looked colourful and cute.


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