Monday, March 1, 2021: New news to few fashion-lovers, Irish international designer Simone Rocha has teamed up with H&M to unveil a mass-market collection in honour of her eponymous label’s tenth anniversary. In line with the London-based designer’s signature aesthetic, shoppers can look forward to modern silhouettes with old-timey flair: embroidered tulle dresses, 80s-style statement sleeves, and pearl-embellished wares. We’re just under two weeks away from the limited-edition collab’s highly anticipated release on March 11, and what better way to get excited about than with a dreamy, star-studded picnic to inspire new additions to our wardrobe?
The latter refers to the Simone Rocha x H&M collection campaign, shot by Brooklyn-based photographer Tyler Mitchell at the historic Great Dixter house and gardens in Northiam, East Sussex. The 30-second clip is short but packed with moments worth yearning for: a reason to dress up, a sunny walk through a garden, and an unmasked celebration with one’s closest family and friends. Here, a bevy of big-names come together for a lavish feast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Micheal Ward, Francesca Hayward, Faye Wei Wei, Kelsey Lu, Mouchette Bell, Aramish Mangi, Tess McMillan, and the Aboah sisters, Adwoa and Kesewa.
The campaign will make you want to put a garden party on your calendar this spring and will excite you about what’s to come in a post-COVID-19 era. “I always want my collections to spark emotions in people,” Rocha said in a press statement shared with GRAZIA. “And with this H&M collaboration, I really wanted to suggest feelings of positive strength and femininity and to show the power of fashion in giving a sense of optimism, occasion, and escapism.”
If pieces from the Simone Rocha x H&M collection look familiar, that’s because the designer has reimagined some of her most-loved pieces from the past decade. “It’s ten years now since I started, so it was nice to look back through the archive,” Rocha said in an interview. “It felt important to pick out pivotal moments that you could recognise as my codes, to share my identity.” Several pieces take cues from the designer’s Spring 2021 collection, incorporating ribbon details, bralettes worn over blouses, and elegantly sculpted midi dresses.
Perusing her archive was both emotional and creatively inspiring. “It was a wonderful chance to reflect on seasons I was especially proud of and revisit collections that felt like milestones and little gems of ideas that we maybe didn’t push as far as we wanted to the first time around,” Rocha told H&M’s digital magazine. “The archive is so important to the way I work as a designer, anyway. We are not a brand that abandons ideas each season—we often look back at past propositions or continue to evolve a silhouette or shape.”
This collection marks the first time Rocha has expanded beyond womenswear to include silhouettes for men and children. “In the past, I’ve always looked at the contrast between femininity and masculinity, but this time I wanted to look at the core menswear pieces from my archive that had inspired womenswear, such as the trench coat, the brogue, and Aran knits,” Rocha told Vogue UK last month. “Men’s feels like a grounded partner to the womenswear.”
Likewise, children’s options round out the collection and lend themselves to the perfect family portrait—or complementary ensembles to wear to a spring-summer outing. A garden party, perhaps?
“I hope that the items in this collection will be worn and treasured for years to come,” says Rocha. “They were all informed by ideas and inspirations that have shaped me and my brand over the last ten years, and I am so excited to see them worn out-and-about and interpreted and styled in new ways.”
Experience the Simone Rocha x H&M campaign film below.