Simone Rocha was just weird enough for SS16.
“I Saw A Bride In the Bamboo Forest”
A series of haiku-like phrases constituted the Simone Rocha show notes this season. Lines like “crystal ears, jelly feet” and “man made and natural, flowers and cars” set the tone perfectly for what was to come: thoughtfully composed, vaguely poetic, but also wryly off-kilter and a little self-consciously strange. This celebration of the odd was most evident in Rocha’s conversion of the humble (and infamously ugly) jelly shoe to a bejewled and not entirely loathsome piece of footwear.
Big In Japan
If this sounds gimmicky, it wasn’t really. And neither were the clothes. The designer’s trip to Tokyo didn’t result in cringingly re-appropriated pieces that screamed geisha in a tea ceremony, but rather they whispered their gently and evocatively felt influences; a “moss forest” softness could be observed in delicately fabricated dresses presented in diaphanous chiffon with lightly puffed sleeves. And if a Japanese-inflected floral type motif found itself in a print or two, it didn’t seem overstated.
All Tied Up
There was another side to this collection though: beyond, and sometimes on top of graceful dresses, there was present the idea of binding. It wasn’t necessarily an erotic bondage, but there was certainly an abundance of fabrics that criss-crossed over themselves like links in a fence as well as a recurring motif that consisted of ropes or fabric-straps that softly, and not so softly, harnessed the models into their outfits. It was a delicately subversive touch in a collection that specialised in staying just the right side of strange.
Words: Benji Walters