Simone Rocha: Ready-To-Wear AW24

This was the final part of a triptych of collections that Simone Rocha worked on simultaneously.  She described last season’s SS24’ show as “the dress rehearsal” her Gaultier couture collection, shown in July, as  “the parade” and this AW24 offering as “the wake”. Presenting in a medieval church in East London, with the air perfumed with incense, Rocha took a deep dive into fashion history. The designer studied preserved garments in archive collections including Queen Victoria’s mourning dress, which is stored at Hampton Court Palace. The theme sat well with her trademark poetic, Irish gothic aesthetic. It was the element of protection from those historical garments that she felt was most relevant in 2024. “The fact that these clothes were very much her security blanket and like a uniform,“ said the designer. During her research she became interested in underwear and the garments closest to the skin, crafting beautiful corset jackets and coats.  Then she became fascinated by the skin itself – expressing its beauty and vulnerability with a series of sensual veiled and sheer looks. Little toy-dog bags were an interpretation of a ‘grim’ – a canine charm associated with death. They evolved  from an embroidery on tulle, into the playful fluffy zip top totes, that brought to mind a child’s pyjama case. The designer explained she wanted a naive  moment to balance the grown-up elements of the wake. Faux fur bustles and bejewelled ear muffs, added to the charm whilst a Crocs collaboration – chunky plastic clogs glinting with Rocha’s signature pearl charms – also brought a 21st Century quirk, and underlined the accessories prowess that has supercharged her brand. 

Photography by Christina Fragkou

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