In a clash of couture titans, Simone Rocha‘s Spring/Summer 2024 Jean Paul Gaultier collection proved there’s more than one way to cone a bra. Forget extravagant feathers and shock factor-Rocha’s ode to Gaultier was a whisper of subversive femininity, steeped in romantic melancholy and Irish charm.
Gaultier himself was smitten. After the show, champagne flutes clinked with enthusiastic praise. “It’s more feminine,” he declared, giving Rocha a Eurovision-worthy 12 points. This was a love letter, a dialogue between two masters with distinct yet intertwined voices.
Rocha took Gaultier’s iconic codes – tattoo prints, corsets and sailors – and whispered them through her own distinctive lens. Skirts and dresses rippled with crinoline whispers, harnessing the female form with a gentle touch. Breton stripes morphed into delicate tulle bows, adorning lingerie as well as sailor hats. Corsets, Gaultier’s muse, were transformed into “second skins,” primly laced and softened by tulle ruffles.
Simone Rocha conjured a moody, introspective atmosphere, perfectly embodied by the sullen grace of Kirsten Owen and Sofia Steinberg. Owen, a ’90s icon, glided in a black taffeta mermaid adorned with 2,000 blood-red feathers – a whisper of dark romance.
The awe of the Jean Paul Gaultier atelier hummed through Rocha’s words. “Incredible, so artisanal,” she breathed. “They make dreams come true.” And dreams she did. Rocha’s Irish gaze, her subversive codes, her obsession with female physicality all blossomed under the Paris spotlight.
Ruby satin “rose thorns” tipped her breastplates, a playful nod to Gaultier’s daring. Sheer panty gowns whispered femininity, while Gaultier’s corsetry received a Rocha makeover, dipped in ecru doily lace and stiffened with character.
Rocha embraced the grand dame of haute couture with open arms. Layers upon layers of tulle were spun into romantic ballerina dresses, a testament to her respect for the art form. In the end, it was a performance that earned not only rapturous applause, but a giant Jean Paul Gaultier hug – a seal of approval from the master himself.
©Photo: Jean Paul Gaultier