We are living in strange times—that much is for sure. We must be strong and, though it’s often been forgotten since COVID-19 sent the world for a tailspin, we must dress strong, too. It’s why, Simone Rocha, who designed her Fall 2021 lineup with “fragile rebels” in mind, turned to a uniform of sorts throughout these maddening months.
According to a press release, the London-based wunderkind was “thinking of clothes in a protective and practical way” and yet she nevertheless infused her latest collection with her signature streak of fantasy. Staged in a mosaic window-lined church, her dizzyingly beautiful parade of satin, leather, and tulle was kept firmly grounded by chunky, thick-soled boots (which had been adorned with clusters of pearls, in true Rocha fashion). Structured leather appeared in the form of balloon-sleeved dresses, bodices, and biker jackets nipped in at the waist; army green coats took on extreme proportions; frilly frocks were embroidered with breathtaking roses, but precious they were not.
Of course, Rocha, whose trademark crystal-embellished barrettes and bows have grown women in full swoon, went above and beyond in the accessories department as well: porcelain cameos were encased in gold earrings and brooches, baroque pearls featured hand-painted flowers, clasped leather wallets dangled from wrists, and mesh gloves were finished off with beaded Bordeaux fingernails (at last, an elegant solution to the chipped manicure conundrum—though when the alternative is the season’s clear base accented with nail artist’s Ama Quashie teeny tiny buds, it might be a risk worth taking). Even models’ lengths, which hairstylist Cyndia Harvey had pulled off of necks into sculptural, crystal-encrusted plaits, entered a new dimension. The takeaway? Modern warriors have a new wardrobe—and how fortunate we are for it.
Below, watch Simone Rocha’s Fall 2021 video.