Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
September 17, 2016
•This season, Simone Rocha sent her ethereal woman to work on a farm.
•“I wanted to bring them somewhere very pure and not dressy,” she said backstage, noting that she was inspired by Jackie Nickerson’s tome Farms, which features the artist’s photographs of African farm workers.
•Rocha created her own, fresh, white broderie anglaise, and it opened the show as a pouffy-sleeved trench dress, paired with white wellington boots.
•The show was set in an old London church. Was she sending a subliminal message to her sinful audience? We may never know. But the clothes, perhaps because of the largely white and cream palette, felt pure, even angelic.
•It’s also worth noting that watching a Rocha show is always somewhat of a religious, or, at the very least, ceremonious experience. Her elaborate, often baroque venues and otherworldly, featherlight confections tend to leave me feeling possessed. And I mean that in the best way possible. No exorcism needed.
•But back to Spring 2017. Rocha signatures—transparency, volume, subversive femininity, and fabric experimentation—all came into play here.
•She mixed earthy, organic fabrics with synthetic ones, and balanced light, airy materials with heavier textiles. For instance, she embroidered plastic and then bonded it to tulle, worked with classic crepe de chine and chiffon, and and trimmed silk organza with that broderie anglaise. “It was this idea of the fabrics cross-pollinating,” she explained.
•Sturdy workwear was juxtaposed with Rocha’s feminine flourishes. Oversized, wheat plaid suits were given a woman’s touch via blooming sleeves and ruffles at the knees. Meanwhile, a pair of pants in the same print was shown beneath a matching full-skirted dress with a white Peter Pan collar.
•The fruits of these farmers’ labors began to show about halfway through the collection, when floral embroidery blossomed on goddess-like dresses. It was at this point that reds, yellows, and greens were brought into the mix.
•Proportion was important to Rocha this season. Models only half wore their coats, trenches, and jackets. One arm was put through a sleeve, and the other half of the coat was left to fall down the back, resulting in a curiously deconstructed silhouette.
•The various fabrics and layered garments were made to appear tied together in bows. “I wanted everything to look very constructed, but falling apart,” Rocha noted.
•She loves a sartorial paradox.
•Sling-shaped bags, which were draped over the model’s backs, also abstracted the female form. “We wanted them to look like they were growing out of the clothes to change and distort the proportion,” Rocha explained.
•They did. At times, it was difficult to decipher whether or not they were part of the garment.
•This was yet another bewitching outing from Rocha, filled with both the mainstays her growing client base expects and early explorations of new territory.