Simone Rocha put on a stunning show at the Central Methodist Hall in Westminster, showcasing her Fall/Winter 2023 collection inspired by the Irish harvest festival of Lughnasadh. With a reputation for creating unique and captivating designs, Simone used the occasion to merge her menswear and women’s wear into a cohesive and harmonious display.
Her collection was influenced by the rituals of relationships, and Simone aimed to show the ways in which men and women interact. This theme was reflected in the pieces that walked down the runway, with menswear and women’s wear blended seamlessly together.
As the models paraded around the first floor of the hall and descended the ornate central staircase, the folk band Lankum provided a brooding, Celtic-inspired soundtrack. The show began with a sunrise of golden women’s wear, featuring silhouettes in cloque that were puckered like ripe wheat-seeds. The brighter pieces were complemented by darker looks, including a black car coat, showcasing Simone’s technical prowess and attention to detail.
The menswear pieces were equally intriguing, with styles that combined naval/maritime and workwear/Sunday-best formal elements. The cut-and-paste pieces were particularly impressive, including a black nappa car coat paired with a lurex linton kilt for men and a brown coat and pleated skirt for women. The standing stone graphics and new takes on Simone’s logo added even more depth to an already rich collection.
The red ribbons that flowed from the hair, garments, and eyes of some models symbolized the blood traditionally daubed on children’s faces to ward off evil spirits, while the raffia-stuffed lace gowns, slip dresses, and underpinnings conveyed a sense of productive disorder. The two final all-raffia dresses were totemic, representing lust, love, and ritual.