Maybe the press digested it right this season, maybe they didn’t. All we know is that Simone Rocha has been killing it the past few seasons, expanding the aesthetic vocabulary of her young brand at lightning speed in a series of hauntingly beautiful collections. In the aptly grand setting of London’s Guildhall, with its backdrop of stained glass windows, Simone Rocha sent out her most accomplished collection to date. (Funnily enough this Elle review clashes a bit with that of Style.com, which says, “Rocha may have been resting a bit on her laurels this season, but you still sensed her creative restlessness in these clothes.”)
What stood out most were the damask-style tapestry materials that looked as if they could have been taken from a Renaissance portrait of a Medici (where they would have been used to convey status and wealth). In previous collections, it has been relatively easy to trace her childhood in Ireland or her father’s Asian background. For the Autumn/Winter 2015 season, the clothes seemed less innocent; more historical and religious.
Simone’s background and family is indeed something which is very important to her, and makes the brand work. She has given insight about this during a talk between Anna Wintour and Suzy Menkes last year: “My business partner is my mom, who has worked in the industry for years, so it’s a huge advantage. The advantage of family and partners is bouncing ideas off. It’s not a one-man show. For me it’s really important to be able to flesh things out, I need somebody else to think of other sides of the business. Like your sales, like your distribution, like your customer. ” But then she’s also mentioned, “It’s very funny working with my mum because we’re completely different.” How? “She’s, um, really nice!” Simone laughed. “I’m very yes or no. I know what I like and I don’t like. That’s how I work on my collection. I can be quite cut-throat with myself. I’ll say, ‘I know it’s a good skirt but it’s out. It’s out!'” She kills her darlings then? “Oh, that’s good,” Simone enthused. “I might keep that.”
Backstage after the show last weekend, Simone mentioned the styling and ‘editing’ of her own shows once more (which we overheard):
Journalist: Do you always do it without a stylist?
Simone Rocha: Yeah, I’ve been doing it myself for four seasons.
Why do you prefer to work like that?
It’s a very intimate personal thing for me, I like to feel super connected to the work, and hair and makeup, so we just kind of cradle our little world together.
Does that make it difficult though, when it comes to editing down the collection? Because you’re the one who has to do the editing?
Yeah but I think I should, I put them there in the first place.
But it gets very hard, doesn’t it, to do that.
You have to sort of step back from it. Try and look at it with your head.