A firm believer that opposites attract, Simone Rocha has been known for adding a tougher edge to her traditionally feminine aesthetic and all things saccharine.
For fall 2021, she sought to channel a “fragile rebel” in every garment she designed.
The London-based designer turned to her usual tool kit of puffy sleeves, tulle frills and candy colors, but also sprinkled in striking three-dimensional flowers bursting from the busts of dresses or jackets, plus delicate winter rose motifs hand-embroidered all over garments.
The minuscule rose embroideries or the frilly tulle sleeves layered over a pastel pink cloqué dress did telegraph the sense of fragility Rocha was looking for, but all-in-all there was nothing weak or fragile in the women she sent down her virtual runway.
In fact, they looked more like an army in their matching puff sleeves and midi skirts, ready to make trouble. It could be because in the midst of the chaos and lack of structure of the last year, Rocha found solace in the certainty of a uniform, creating her own version for fall 2021 by way of short-sleeve dresses, prim white shirts and jackets nipped at the waist.
“I was playing on the narrative of a uniform and the idea of uniformity and structure. I gravitated toward these [concepts] as everything else feels very unstructured,” the designer mused.
She also added further “friction” and contrast to the fragility of her fabrics and embellishments with harnesses layered on top of the delicately embroidered dresses; chunky platform boots that could also be used for self-defense if need be; and leather galore. Her signature voluminous, frilly silhouettes looked as appealing in leather her signature tulle.
It was a compelling vision — and proof of Rocha’s ability to find beauty under any circumstance and to flex her design muscle with impressive new techniques.