Make Men Pretty Again
How Simone Rocha interwove its romantic house codes into the realm of menswear for SS23.
Among the emerald marble pillars of the ‘Central Criminal Court of England’ (The Old Bailey) Simone Rocha served us with her most ambitious collection to date. Among the sea of tulle and ruffles gliding down the runway to ear piercing opera was a new addition to the eponymous brand. Menswear.
Ten or twenty years ago it would’ve been difficult to fathom such a stereotypically feminine brand dabbling in menswear that sticks to the house codes, but with the boundaries between the genders being blurred within the mainstream culture, it’s come as no surprise Simone Rocha is making this move. For this first foray into menswear, we saw rollicking ruffles and tiered tulle blazers with matching pinstripe trousers and harness detailed attire that zips away to reveal soft layers. Rocha explained how she wanted pieces in the collection to give “a feeling of restriction and release”.
There’s always been a sense of symbiotic tension in Rocha’s designs binding the soft beauty that is bred from dark tension. For this SS23 collection, Rocha explained “it was about harnessing emotion” and finding ways “to translate all these complex emotions into clothes”. The complexity is illustrated through the juxtaposition of hard harness style straps and utility style bomber jackets with soft lacey veils and delicate sheer fabrics.
Whilst the collection held power in resilience Rocha “wanted there to be a kind of healing quality” which was depicted in the use of florals. Daisies, Echinacea and Chamomile bloomed through embroidery and embellishment. The accessories were as ethereal as ever with models carrying various iterations of the brand's signature egg pearl bags, with the addition of a new pearl structure in the shape of a flower hanging from an iridescent pearl strap. The shoes ranged from ballet-core flats in florals and metallics to Perspex jelly track shoes that curved to create a suitably ergonomic effect. Arguably the show stopper of the shoes (shoe-stopper?) was the dusty pink ballet-style shoes that sat upon a lavender and transparent jelly platformed heel.
In recent years Simone Rocha has proved herself to be a force within the industry and a much-loved staple of London Fashion Week, we can’t wait to see what she does next.
Shop the Simone Rocha ‘Egg Pear bags’ at Simonerocha.com