Graduating less than two years ago and only four seasons in, Simone Rocha made her on-schedule debut (discounting her shows with Fashion East) at London Fashion Week, simultaneously affirming her position as London’s hottest up-and-coming talent. One thing that LFW offers ahead of New York, Paris or Milan is the potential for a show that can be genuinely described as breakthrough, and following her SS12 collection it was good to see a fresh talent deliver on their early promise.
Rocha presented a collection which concentrated on simple silhouettes combined with intricate and elaborately worked surfaces; describing her approach as 'Embellished Minimalism'. “I like to use a little and say a lot with it. You build it up and then you pull it back… otherwise it just gets saturated.” This refined exploration of texture was a refreshing change from the majority of the younger contingent where colour and clash are often used as a quick fix to get attention.
Looking to her native Ireland for inspiration - in particular street children of the 1930’s - and then towards tribes of Papua New Guinea, which manifested itself in the introduction of white wool fringing, spotty print hide and shiny black ponyskin. Standout pieces included the corded, lace biker-jacket and matching mini-skirt she opened with, dresses with fringed wool peplums, boxy biker jackets and roomy masculine coats.
Rocha has paid as much attention to the accessories in the collection as to the garments which brought the show together as a far more professional show. There are going to be a lot of people scrambling to get their hands on a pair of her thick, Perspex-soled men’s brogues.