Simone Rocha References Romantic Fables for Fall/Winter 2022

The layered collection looked to the Irish fable ‘Children of Lir’ as inspiration.

British designer Simone Rocha fantastical frocks and surreal presentations are a perennial must-see at London Fashion Week. This season was no different, thanks to the designer’s fable-inspired collection shown at the dreamy medieval hall in London’s Inns of Court.

Lauded for her punk-meets-whimsical designs and layered tulle creations, Rocha toes the line between avant-garde and wearable, yet intriguing, ready-to-wear. For Fall/Winter 2022, the designer looked to the Irish legend ‘Children of Lir’ as sartorial inspiration.

The age-old fable follows a group of royal children who turn into swans and then transform back into human form, a narrative that Rocha mirrored in her abstract outerwear and signature layered organza gowns. Though deep hues dominated the collection, splashes of muted beige, royal blue, and poignant red helped to paint Rocha’s tale-inspired narrative.

Rocha’s mastery of fabrics—tulle, chiffon, leather, knits—contrasted well with the collection’s voluminous shapes and emphasis on sleeves. From ruched velvet cap sleeves to billowing, Victorian-esque leg-o-mutton sleeves, Rocha’s flair for romantic references was prominent. Too, the collection featured a bevy of crystals, studded pearls, and embroidery, serving as an ode to the elaborate dress and status of the ‘Children of Lir.’

As we have become accustomed to with the British label, whimsical frocks merged with grunge influences—this season arriving in the form of multi-pocket motorcycle jackets and patent leather vests layered over romantic crinoline skirts. Mini knit shorts and cropped sweaters were new sartorial ventures for the house and accented the collection’s genderless feel. Though the designer is known for her overly feminine gowns, the use of male and female models proved that anyone can rock Rocha’s dreamy ready-to-wear.

Not only toying with organic silhouettes, Rocha tried her hand at must-have accessories—pearl drop handbags, crystalized tights, opera gloves, and diamond-filled balaclavas. Working off of the collection’s couture-like shapes, the accessories succeeded in crafting a complexly beautiful narrative all the while remaining modern (balaclavas and opera gloves are sure to be a hit in the coming seasons.)

Closing the dramatic show were three cream looks: a layered motorcycle jacket, a sheer a-line gown with all-over red embroidery, and a tiered ruffle dress with an abstract patent leather jacket. A poetry-like, metaphorical conclusion for a collection that was equal parts innovative and referential.

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