To mark her label’s 10-year anniversary, Simone Rocha chose to explore a subject close to her heart: mother-daughter relationships.
This translated into an array of “childlike proportions,” from extra-large bibs to cotton shirtdresses that resembled communion dresses, soft pastel colors and delicate knits that you could imagine a baby cradled in.
They fit right into the brand’s universe and its signature pearl embellishment, delicate embroidery and endless ruffle trims.
But in true Rocha fashion, the theme was twisted and subverted to shine a light on some of the darker sides of motherhood, too: the “twisted insomnia,” sleepless nights and distress.
“I wanted to blow up those childlike proportions and distort them, mix them with the sleepless nights that come with having a daughter,” Rocha said.
She explored sleep, or lack thereof, with diaphanous tulle slipdresses, long cotton shirts that could double as nightgowns, and quilted floral jackets and dresses that referenced bedding fabrics.
Punk-ish platform ballerina shoes and vinyl leather separates added an extra layer of subversion and contrast, which Rocha has always thrived on. “They mix naivety and reality, that’s what it was all about,” she added.
Rocha, who chose the St. Bartholomew the Great church in East London for her return to the catwalk, also wanted to make a point about tactility and to celebrate the return of in-person gatherings.
So she packed on the pearl embellishments on the hems of skirts and on bra tops; turned her signature headbands into larger crowns; added extra layers of tulle on her signature puff-sleeved dresses, and left ribbons hanging from the backs of jackets and the insides of voluminous midi skirts — a reference to displaced children who had to leave tokens of themselves to be identified.
The sounds of beads clinging and fabric swishing as the models walked through the aisles of the majestic church served as a much-needed reminder of the joy of seeing fashion in the flesh. The added adornments also made for a powerful, unapologetically feminine look.
“I really wanted to celebrate the nursing bra, the breast and the nourishing nature of the milk — sharing it and elevating it with these embellished bras,” added the designer.