Simone Rocha: Irish in Fashion
SIMONE Rocha, daughter of celebrated designer John Rocha, was born in Dublin and it was in Ireland where she began her studies in Fashion before leaving to complete a masters in London. Having grown up working in her father’s business, she was already savvy and had connections in the industry but it was sheer talent and eye for brilliant design that made her brand what it is today. Her first collections were shown in 2011 and after only three years, she has truly cultivated her own style and progressed into one of Ireland’s most successful young designers. Last year she won Emerging Womenswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards 2013 and at the start of this month she was named International Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards. It seems like it can only go up from here for this Dubliner.
Her style is feminine yet masculine with not a stiletto in sight. She has described her designs as “a little bit lady“, the perfect choice of words for her tomboy-look dresses. In blurring gender normative lines, she has developed her cool, harder, edgier look. Menswear isn’t her only inspiration however and she loves art and photography, crediting Irish-born Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois as influences. Rocha’s natural talent stems from a childhood of creative outlets, surrounded by art and music. She is original and experimental but within her innovation is wearable, comfortable designs.
As summer draws to a close (boo) and the new season stock come into stores (yay) we can look to Rocha’s Autumn/Winter 2014 shows for inspiration. Seen on the runway earlier in the year, this collection was all about texture, print and overlaying fabrics, such as snakeskin and furs. Heavy brogues, what Rocha has become known for, were juxtaposed with flowing midi skirts, and her separate pieces allow for an abundance of possibilities in layering. We can see the return of plaid and checked prints, as well as the always classic black winter coats.
A plethora of celebrities and fashion icons have been spotted wearing the 28-year-old’s clothing, including Lily Cole, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and fellow Irish woman Saoirse Ronan. She has been featured in countless magazines including last months US Vogue, modelled by Karlie Kloss.
As the S/S 2015 runways come to an end, it is the young Irish girl who shined at London Fashion Week. She showed a plethora of black and white, as well as beautiful feminine rose shades and bright reds. It was all about the classy knee-length dress with flats, made even more special with whimsical fluffy trims. Using chiffon, lace and floral patterns she holds on her romantic tendencies while her tailoring and mastery of fabric celebrate the modern woman. Quoting her inspiration for the collection as ballet, her show and collection evoke beautiful elegance and emotion, while remaining simple and wearable: two key factors often missing from runway designs.
As such a small, proud country, it’s important for us Irish to support each other in international business markets, especially those as competitive and unforgiving as fashion where we often enter as small fish. Simone Rocha is definitely making a name for the island and coming out on top, doing all her father has done and more! Make sure you keep your eyes turned towards this brand. Now that John has retired, it is Simone that will keep the Rocha name strong in the industry. She is not going anywhere soon!
Photos c/o britishmodemagazine.co.uk, mandpmodels.com