Report by Julia Robson
“Delicate” and “textured” were words Simone Rocha used to describe her prettiest collection to date. It wasn’t just the setting of 19th-century palace Lancaster House that gave the show
a Princess Diaries feel. Airy tulle ballerina-length dresses with sheer Balenciaga bell sleeves, in palest pink, fluttered past, worn with Cinderella slippers Simone-style (jelly flats with plastic laces and cut-glass heels).
Rubbing a pregnant tummy backstage, encroaching motherhood, coupled with a trip to Kyoto, left Rocha “wanting to create something hyper feminine”. This crystallises
a trend we’ve seen for vulnerability and strength, translated through volume and soft and hard fabrics.
Rocha’s dresses featured torsos tethered with rope and plastic (“a play on restraint and exposure inspired by kimonos”) and echoed the bouncy Bo Peep skirts we’ve been seeing on LFW catwalks.
She proved brown spongey neoprene cocktail frocks could be as feminine as, say, Teatum Jones’ voluminous ruffles layered over sheer pleated netting, inspired by Liberian peace activist, Leymah Gbowee. Both, in effect, are a woman’s armour.