A Closer Look at Simone Rocha Spring Summer 2018


Deep in the underbelly of London’s historic Middle Temple Hall—a medieval Court that dates back to the 14th century—Simone Rocha sent an army of glassy-eyed doll-like models gliding down the 101-foot-long oak floors swathed in liquid silks and wispy layers of tulle.

The first half of the show—which was backed by an eerie soundtrack of classical music—created the very fitting mise en scene of a cross between American Gothic and a life-sized Elizabethan doll box.

Sticking to Simone’s signature voluminous smock dresses, opening looks included stark juxtapositions between spacious cloud-like cotton smocks (with layers upon layers of ruffles and bows) and long, liquid-like silk floor length 1930s-inspired dresses that appeared to pour straight off the model’s bodies.

After the unveiling of a stiff, almost clinical, stark white trench-coat with minimal froufrou detailing (save for the delicate lace edging on the cuffs) the collection then took a gothic turn with a puff sleeved black trench layered with black Chantilly lace.

Embroidered doll silhouettes adorned semi-sheer layered silk dresses, while belted transparent black tulle tea-dresses were seemingly haphazardly sewn together; French-maid scalloping was subtly met with sheer panelling that added a very necessary element of sex appeal to the seemingly demure hemlines.

And what followed was a crescendo of layering and patch working. Long dresses merged with trench coats, smock dresses (in four different fabrications) were cut-and-pasted together to create a more messy, hand-finished element. Imagine a child taking a pair of scissors to four or five of their favorite dresses and stitching them all together with one eye closed – it was perfectly imperfect.

Structured ladylike handbags were encased in swathes of yet more tulle, whilst side-parted hair was embellished in drips of diamantes and gemstones and shoes varied from girly patent Mary Jane kitten heels to clunky pointed toe flatforms and bejewelled jelly shoes—all creating a gothic version of a playfully childlike daydream.


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