The designer gathered her sisters — friends, models and professionals from many walks of life and generations — to show off this collection that took a look at privacy, security, femininity and the female form. Rocha looked in particular to Louise Bourgeois, quoting the artist in her notes, and adorning some of the models’ heads with a version of the curving black crown that Bourgeois was often pictured in.

This collection marked a change for Rocha, who swapped her voluminous silhouettes and rounded forms for something a little more restrained, youthful, brighter — and more commercial than in past seasons. Although widow’s black still played a big role, blush and ballerina pink, flesh tones and taupe seeped into Rocha’s palette along with a stream of gold sequins.

Jade Parfitt, Chloë Sevigny and Kirsten Owen, all of whom have already hit the big 4-0, joined model Lily Cole and a posse of silvery-haired ladies at the Royal Academy. They wore trenchcoats overlaid with blush or honey tulle, ballerina pink satin dresses with corset details and tulle trapeze styles. Other dresses came with short poufed sleeves and were paved with gold or black sequins or dotted with naïf rosettes.

Rocha didn’t shy away from a few sly sexual intimations, too, with white, ruffle-edged bloomers flashing from beneath a transparent dress and red sequined bra tops fitted languidly over satin dresses. The designer had much to say here about the beauty of the female form and managed to do it with passion, sensuality and lightness.

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