At the East London rehearsal space for the English National Ballet, Simone Rocha has delicately mused on the pomp and circumstance of ceremony for her Spring/Summer 2024 collection.
Despite the rose-littered snippets seen on social media and dance-inspired setting suggesting Rocha will delve deeper into her whimsical universe of histrionic femininity, Rocha instead subverted her romantic trademarks into something more perverse.
Lolita pink, crystal-incrusted fabric, miles of ribbon and decisively soft silhouettes are among the legions of Rocha-isms that have made the Irish designer’s fantastical designs some of the most coveted. They’re also the hallmarks that make Rocha’s work a mainstay for the modern bride who prefers to turn the notion of a traditional billowing wedding dress in on itself.
Aware that this reputation proceeds her, Rocha quelled the conventional exploration of nuptial motifs by looking to service that proceeds the exchanging of vows: the dress rehearsal.
Writing in her show notes, Rocha meditated on “procession, obsession, declaration (of love), decoration and tension” to create a collection that teemed with “something old, something new, something borrowed and something baby blue”.
Underpinned by a sense of occasion, Rocha’s collection felt more intimate than ornate with 50 ambitious looks that exemplified the designer’s artistry.
The first half of the collection saw the anorak silhouette distort with glossy rosette accents, juxtaposing the tough exterior of the nylon material and drawstring hardware with something inordinately elegant.
The rose—a satin rosette, physical roses pressed into skeleton-boned dresses or illustrations ‘tattooed’ onto models—served as a common thread in the collection as Rocha oscillated between oversized tailoring (which evoked a groom’s tuxedo), flouncy bridesmaids-approved dresses and her signature wedding cake billowing gowns.
Each piece was embellished to rival the elaborate piping and decoration of a rococo cake. Fitting considering Rocha told the press that Cy Twombly’s deconstructed cakes were the impetus for this season.
The cherry on top of this highly-wadeable collection was Rocha’s collaboration with Crocs, with models wearing the three new footwear styles as they stomped toward the proverbial altar. A nice day for a white wedding, a nice day to start again.
But one must wonder if Carrie Bradshaw carried her phone in one of Rocha’s crystal purses for her wedding day, would Big still have gotten cold feet?