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Last week, in the industrial confines of the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, Simone Rocha showed her fall/winter 2014-15 collection. The runway show was prefaced by poetic show notes: “Elizabethan, young and rebellious…. exaggerated hips and hearts – a wolf howling.”
This is exactly what Rocha does – she transforms fashion into poetry. Every collection seems to be more lyrical than the last. It’s enchanting. But Rocha’s poetry doesn’t rhyme. Her garments subvert sartorial meaning. This season, an Anne Boleyn-inspired collection of ruffles and gilding was sent down the runaway. Rocha’s Boleyn wasn’t taking any prisoners. She had the strong spirit of her daughter, Elizabeth and a punk edge. Big leg-of-mutton sleeves flounced from navy overcoats, dresses were piped with gold embellishment, ruffles on pockets, collars, and peplums with deep red tartan on trousers and crop tops. Hips were emphasised, with large puffing skirts, and midriffs were out. The body was simultaneously exposed and enclosed.
Rocha was all about the animal this season, from prints to furs and plenty of pony skin. There were yellow snakeskin jackets with fur trimming worn with matching snakeskin skirts and pointed snakeskin boots. Enormous fur mittens and oversized fur coin-purses were hugged tight to the body like fashionable security blankets. A softer side to the Virgin Queen was seen in pastel pink mesh ensembles, overlaid with wool check, which subtly revealed nipples in ultra soft, unthreatening ways.
Most of the shoes were flats (with the trademark Rocha Perspex heel) as has been the preference this season, and accessories included large printed suitcases along with aforementioned clutch bags. The models walked with messy French braided hair and gold leaf warrior paint spread across their foreheads.