You already know I consider Simone Rocha to be a master of ceremonies, wonderful clothing and ingenuity right? Her shows are consistently fantastic and have never disappointed me; feeding my need for minimalist pieces which all add to a rainbow wardrobe spanning across Rocha's career as a designer in her own right. Each collection is like a pocket of sunshine of well-tailored dresses and coats that could compete with the best Parisian boutique built upon generations of love and devotion in color palettes to brighten even the coldest of Winter days. Last season thrived on fluorescent yellow and orange, the highlight of Summer/ Spring and lending inspiration to many copy cat labels on a much cheaper scale. Fall/ Winter doesn't have the same sparkly-bright enthusiasm but the general public is granted permission to spice up somber ensembles with the most feminine blush to open the show.
So back to the collection, what a doozy it is. Givenchy released with motifs of orchids and panthers the scintillating experience of designer and prestigious eye wear and now Simone Rocha is here to horn in on the monopoly of glasses- needless to say I'm dreaming of storing away a stash and selection to choose from when my own eyesight deteriorates.
Suave black mesh was elevated to super hero proportions when paired with a mean (as in scarily good) pair of glasses. Wonderful mesh with floral motifs was seen from Rocha last season to inject a tropical touch to the finale of Summer/ Spring but here we see mature and delicate dots in that amazing comic-book graphic vain. But that motif is something I'm projecting onto the pieces itself, but it's not hammed up in anyway either. I think the way Rocha handles lace/ mesh textures in itself is phenomenal in its own right, I just really enjoy high fashion with a distinct quirky edge to it as supplied by the glasses in this particular outfit. It was very unexpected from what I usually expect for such mature and refined taste but I really enjoyed this extra dimension provided by the accessories launched in tangent with the collection.
After the introduction of masquerade-grade glasses followed two glossy PVC outfits; one a dress and the other a coat in epic Cat Woman glorious proportions but again adding complexity to what is typically a two-dimensional character. Unlike the PVC trend and suite of ensuing faux leather pants there's sophistication oozing everywhere from sensible hemlines and starch structure. It leaves everything to the imagination, emphasizing that some of the best dresses are worn to be taken off. That description was probably more graphic than it really needed to to be but I'm genuinely sick of seeing certain materials almost stereotype cast as evoking a certain mood or side of expression. Here the designer breaks the mold of figure-hugging glossy black in a more regal light. If someone had to do it and pull off this magical heist of preconceptions I'm glad it was one of my favorite people.
At face value and evaluating the collection from afar the color scheme is plain but well thought, contemplative and balanced showing wisdom beyond Rocha's years. The shades of blush, beige, black and cream seem more suited to the interior design of a patisserie but with such a fundamental spectrum I think it's marvelous to sneak in color by stealth among a sea of conservative coats, trousers and mid-length skirts. As if the weather of Autumn and Winter wasn't depressing enough designers of the fashion world seem dead-set on making their collections equally dark and moody. No wonder I jump up and down when I see splashes of color on the catwalk outside of a resort collection. Looking beyond the superficial world of color, immaculate detail is revealed through texture in the way of soft shearling wool, fluffy fur and of course a myriad of sheer lace sheets as I've already discussed but it's a major component and almost inescapable.
Mmm did I mention that I love the way leopard print is broken up between a pristine white shirt? Because I love that, right down to the darling matching ankle boots finished with a bow. Matching clothes isn't my forte if you've seen enough of my own outfits, mainly because I am cheap and mainly because thrifting something that matches is a rare improbability but I still love the very sweet nature of this outfit. The texture looks as if it could have well been lifted from a loved soft toy, without being ripped to pieces and belonging to a child above the age of seven.The boots remind me a bit of the Rodarte X Target leopard lace bow dress from December 2009- the exact dress I have in my wardrobe which doesn't fit me due to hulking shoulders and a generally small bust. Perhaps my affection for this look also has to do with my recent social activities; the last movie I went to see was The Dreamworks' animation, The Croods, which did revolve around cave people and early garb made from animal skins. But this is elevated above the animated figures with sloping foreheads and posturing stoops for obvious reasons and the old school, Hollywood hills glamour is again revived in simple leopard print fur.
Note when I say this dress reminds me a lot of that giant among Muppets Big Bird I mean that in the most wholesome sense of descriptions because I happen to like Muppets. The transition from dreamy cream tones and amorous blush to the more generic play with texture took me by surprise for a Rocha collection but the angular cheekbones of the models and skillfully dishevelled hair pulls the look together on this one. I'm a fan of furry/ feathery skirts despite the fact I don't own one myself. Don't get me wrong, I have tried to find one in the past since the dawn of the Opening Ceremony X Where the Wild Things Are collaboration of Fall 2009 and upon seeing popular blogger Susie Bubble of the style bubble sporting one. However despite my efforts I haven't found anything that's tickled my fancy aside from the obvious and expensive runway shows (give me a break, I'm only a poor university student!) and I DEFINITELY don't trust myself with the task of making one myself and picking a suitable fabric from the local craft store. None the less, these variations of canary yellow crossed with whipped cream leave me feeling melancholic but yet hopeful that my dreams will one day be realised. The styling here with mesh nude isn't exactly ground-breaking, but it lets the texture take over the central spotlight. As for myself I'll be dreaming of wicked ways to style this with all manner of stripes, statement sunglasses and sneakers.
It's possibly a little late to discuss the wider skirts with more modesty and shacking off the shackles of shameful 1980s trends of tight-fitting bodycon but I do adore being able to sit down and retain modesty when wearing a dress. We've seen roughly the same dress pattern and structured reinvented and packaged neatly throughout this show, so how about I go back to mentioning the use of colour and in this case, texture? The finale had all the glitter of a supernovae explosion and the eerie black background to boot. I imagine women aged in their 50s love to wear this type of garb to occasions like graduations and things like that but due to the power of reinvention and structure Rocha has made it cool again and extra points have been awarded for soft black veils in the vein of a funeral straight out of Heathers starring everyone's queen Winona Ryder. I was impressed with the depth to this fabric and long to make little personalised pill box hats where possible from any left-over scraps, a new little hobby of mine in all this crafting madness. (seriously, what do fantastic designers do with excess material and where is the dumpster I can joyously roll around in?)
I can already see brands everywhere going gaga over the perspex heel trend of shoes, but as someone constantly dogged with Occupational Health and Safety regulations in the science laboratory I whole-heartedly support this perfect culmination of practicality and fashion brought together at last. The shoes stand out being made from materials that don't mirror the clothes of the presentation- their independent and in their lives right and I love the idea. Too much sameness drives me crazy, hence why I am a total nutjob power-clasher when I dress but this is still tame enough to be marvelled over from people across the world and of all interest levels in fashion. Generously lavish and thick squares support the shoe in the way of a heel and the rounded toe is very akin to that of thick gumboots but with new feminine charm and wiles. But if you were to wear these around on the factory floor, particularly the glittery pink ones that look like freshly ground fairy-godmother, eyebrows will surely be raised and tongues will waggle to and through. BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST UNCOOL AND LAME- OK? I however am of the opinion that some things in life are just too good to hide away in closets and secret stashes, beautiful clothes that are wonderful in their own right should have little rooms for storage and be worn as often as possible- not as a designer intended but maybe the way fashion should be. The world would be a far more interesting place if everyone else held this ideology. And if tracksuits and Ugg boots and general Bogan clothing such as Bintang singlets were burned at the stack. Just sayin'.