Simone Rocha staged her spring/summer 2024 show in the rehearsal space at the English National Ballet. “I love the rise and fall of doing a show,” she told Vogue. “Sometimes it’s a big spectacle, sometimes it really brings people in.” This was the latter. Vogue brings you five things to know about the show.
The setting was the rehearsal space at the English National Ballet
The grandeur of Central Hall Westminster and the neo-Baroque Old Bailey have served as her backdrops in recent seasons, but Simone Rocha opted to unveil her spring/summer 2024 collection in an altogether less ornate venue: a rehearsal space at the English National Ballet in Canning Town. “It’s much more intimate,” the designer said ahead of the show. “I wanted people to feel closer to the collection and the workmanship that’s gone into it.” Against this blank canvas appeared palest pink technical parkas trailing roses and floor-skimming ribbons, biker jackets in distressed silver leather, and puffball lace dresses in sugared almond shades. The venue also spoke to Rocha’s central theme, the notion of the dress rehearsal.
This was not the Big Day, but the night before
Rocha subverted the tropes of the marriage ceremony for spring/summer 2024. The cake-inspired tiers of appliqué on white tulle dresses rivalled anything Hebe Konditori could come up with, and the sound of silver “wedding” bells tinkling on slippers, sleeves and bags competed briefly with Frédéric Sanchez’s faintly ominous soundtrack. “It’s almost fragmented,” the designer said of the music for the show. “It’s that disturbed feeling, all the emotions of a rehearsal… the nerves!” Despite the sense of tension Rocha set out to create, there’s little chance of a bride wearing one of these dresses getting cold feet the night before.
Roses are… everywhere
Instead of a bride holding a bouquet, fresh roses were bunched between layers of sheer tulle, and fabric versions were manipulated into dresses and jackets. Models carried single stems fashioned from cotton or pearls, and bare legs were decorated with red rose tattoos. As a motif, it was equal parts enchanting and fragrant.
Prepare to go crazy for Simone Rocha Crocs
The Irish designer has put her unmistakable stamp on fashion’s (and gardeners’, and chefs’) favourite functional clog for spring/summer 2024. Rocha took the artist Cy Twombly’s plaster cakes as the jumping off point for her Crocs, which have pumped up platform soles and come studded with chunky diamanté crystals and gobstopper pearls, “almost like icing”. Is Rocha a Croc wearer herself? “I am!” she told Vogue. “That’s why I was up for doing it. I wear them and my kids wear them.” Expect to see her brother Max Rocha manning the kitchen at his beloved Hackney restaurant Café Cecilia in pearl-encrusted Crocs before too long.
They weren’t the only accessory of note
Rocha also unveiled a new line of luxury leather bags for spring/summer 2024. With their clean lines and ladylike top handles, the cake box-inspired handbags – in black, cream, nude and oxblood – feel like something of a departure from her more playful house signatures (the Micro Egg clutch springs to mind) – a concession to the practical requirements of everyday life. But we are still in Simone Rocha’s darkly romantic universe, and they are not entirely without whimsy. “Our emblem is the pearl daisy, and we’ve worked that into hardware to become the clasp,” said the designer. The long leather strap, meanwhile, can be switched for a version made up of trailing pearls and silver bells.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.