Looking towards the exhibition “Uniform : a collaboration with Jamie Nickerson” held in the National Gallery of Ireland at the end of 2015 for inspiration, Simone Rocha designed a collection halfway between the aesthetic of Irish masters and the photographer’s vision of African farmers.
It opens with a series of white coats and dresses. They are heavily ornated, mainly made of broderie anglaise and lace, calling for romance. Once again our attention is caught by the big, puffy sleeves, and the asymmetrical, one-shoulder items. Black versions are also displayed, looking more enigmatic. Midi deconstructed dresses are like a sort of patchwork composed with remaining materials. The plastic boots clearly refer to cultivation and the work in the fields.
I adore the eleventh outfit. The white top, with balloon sleeves and Peter Pan collar is paired with a Prince of Wales check suit. The belt enhanced the waistline. The volume of the sleeve of the jacket echoes the shirt’s. She borrows the cool styling trick : the half put on jacket, with one shoulder free. Ruffles are added on the legs to bring delicateness and feminity. Indeed the seriousness of this grey fabric, usually used for suits, lessens and the garments become more original.
Flowers bloom on the dresses : red or white, they are printed on the fabric. A hint of sexiness shows up as the designer plays with see-through materials and their layering.
The last outfits give a phantasmagoric twist to the collection. The girls look like ghosts, wearing off-white garments matching their complexion. The unruly composition of the dresses, with pleats and unexpected volumes, blurs the silhouette and engulfs the models. It feels like a dream, distant and disturbed. We would gladly surrender – for the sake of fashion.