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Who is Simone Rocha, the baroquely romantic Irish designer?

 

The young Irish woman Simone Rocha has, in just a few collections, made a serious mark with her feminine, romantic and contemporary collections. Numéro checked in with the designer on her fall-winter 2016-17 collection.

Simone Rocha by Eoin Mcloughlin.

 

Daughter of John Rocha, the Irish fashion designer, the lovely Simone Rocha carved a name for herself in 2012 with her first ever collection shown during London Fashion Week, just two years after graduating from Central Saint Martins. Her style basics, which continue to gather momentum, are already firmly in place: a contemporary energy with masculine overtones articulating around a taste for Victorian feminine romanticism, lots of lace, pearls and black veils. For fall-winter 2016/17, Simone Rocha presents a particularly successful collection, partly inspired by her new status as a young mother. Read on to find out more about this Irish designer, a force to be reckoned with… 

 

Backstage of Simone Rocha fall-winter 2016-2017 fashion show by par Jacob Lillis.

 

Numéro: What was your first contact with fashion?

Simone Rocha:  I pretty much grew up in my fashion designer father’s studio, surrounded by clothes and fabrics, so my approach to fashion has always been very organic. I also wore my mother’s clothes, a lot of her sweaters which on a ten-year old kid were like dresses.

 

Which designers have influenced your vision?

My father John Rocha’s creations make up my heritage. I’m also super inspired by the creativity of Comme des Garçons and by the splendour of historic houses such as Dior. My style is born from the contrast of these references.

 

Has being Irish had an impact on your style?

Sure it has! The Irish landscapes certainly influence my sense of textures and textiles, as well as my love of story-telling: I like all my shows to evoke an era and a place. 

 

Backstage of Simone Rocha fall-winter 2016-2017 fashion show by par Jacob Lillis.

 

 

How come your vision was so clearly defined as soon as you left Central Saint Martins?

My taste comes from my heart of hearts, it’s something that’s hard to explain, but it’s a very precise sort of femininity balanced with edgy or boyish elements.

 

Your collections are often described as “feminine” and “pretty”. How do you perceive these two terms?

I want my clothes to give the feeling of wearing something remarkable. I don’t want to constrain or distort the silhouette or make something ugly. I think that a really feminine piece can be interesting and inspiring.

 

Your fall-winter 2016 runway show at Lancaster House in London highlighted your work on textures and embroideries, your reinterpretation of historical styles. Is the history of costume an important inspiration for you?

The work on the details, the fabrics, the embroideries is absolutely crucial to me. I want it to be innovative and to focus on the importance of the handiwork. And I like historical clothing for its refined ornamentation but also because clothing used to indicate social status. That’s why I find uniforms as interesting as royal attire. 

Simone Rocha fall-winter 2016-2017 fashion show.

 

You often use pearls in your collections, over-sized, appliqued all over, eccentric… What is it about that detail you love so much?

I love playing with their classicism, the fact that they’re almost a clichéd feminine symbol. They integrate quite naturally into most of my collections.

 

In your fall-winter runway show, historic volumes reinterpreted in a pure and modern way contrasted with deliberately dishevelled hairstyles.

Pure volumes are some of my recurring codes, this time they contrasted with hair styles that express the reality of motherhood: that chronic lack of sleep when you don’t have any control over anything anymore (she laughs).

 

www.simonerocha.com

 

By Delphine Roche.

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