Simone Rocha AW23 – London Fashion Week
Jodi Bhachu-Smith looks back at the the show from the Irish fashion designer
Simone Rocha’s work has always been synonymous with her Irish ancestry and drawing inspiration from the country’s rich history and stunning landscapes. In her latest AW23 collection, she explored the rituals of Lughnasadh, a Gaelic festival steeped in ancient traditions that marks the beginning of the harvest season in Ireland and Scotland.
The designer’s focus on natural beauty and abundance reflected Lughnasadh’s roots in its expression of creativity, particularly through arts and crafts forms. This translated into looks of woven raffia and delicately embroidered organza. As the cast took to the scarlet runway, Dublin-based folk group Lankum performed haunting lullabies to complement Rocha’s contemporary retelling of Irish identity.
The designer took her cues from Pony Kids, a book and photo series by Perry Ogden. The book documents the freedom, resilience and determination of the eponymous group of youngsters living in Dublin’s inner city during the 80s and early 90s. As a subtle tribute, Rocha brought us several raffia stuffed dresses embellished with crimson ribbons fashioned to look like braiding ribbons. As Ogden himself took to the runway in a shimmering double-breasted overcoat with leather detailing, the importance of his work to the collection was clear.
A theme of relationships also wove its way into the story, with Rocha continuing to explore co-ed offerings for the second season running. In her own words, “I wanted to continue to show women and men together: how they corresponded”. The twisted boundaries of these bonds were reflected in her designs; juxtaposing softer voluminous shapes and muted tones like baby blue, with structured pieces in stronger shades such as black. The result was a treatise on cut, colour and texture that wrapped and draped the body in new possibilities.
To read our review of the Molly Goddard show from LFW, click here
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