For Simone Rocha, the spring-summer 2019 show marks the first time she explored her Chinese heritage. During the research, the designer looked at the images of royals dating back to the Tang dynasty and was immensely inspired by their way of dressing and opulent fashion they favoured. But don’t think Simone went for anything too straightforward, like an ‘oriental’ themed collection. In an impressively smooth way, Rocha incorporated the Chinese history elements (like floral patterns from ceramics and emperor-esque volumes) into her signature dresses. While shopping in an antique market in Hong Kong, the designer came across the 16th-century paintings of concubines coming from the same dynasty. Elements from those paints show up in prints and portraits used in the dresses and skirts (slightly obscured by romantically lace trimmed, sheer sheaths). Some chic drama was delivered by the quite heavy-looking veils, made from meticulously embroidered tulle. But taking apart the headwear (and those gorgeous feathered flats!), the pieces that Rocha presented this season are more than welcome in the daily life. That’s the designer’s real charm – she creates stunning, fairytale garments that can be worn for any occasion.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.