I didn't really want to title this post with a naff band name from the early noughties that covered Silk tracks and called it their own, but all I could really say yesterday, over and who again was "That was AnOther Level!!!" I am of course speaking in reference to Simone Rocha, which in amongst a slew of brilliant things I saw yesterday, did manage to surpass the rest just because it was her on-schedule debut (discounting her shows with Fashion East) and quite literally took everyone's breath away. There was a rollercoaster giddiness felt after the show because you were so excited to witness the rise of yet another London duckling that only added to the hub-hub over LFW (I've just added yet another shoutout of "LFW is so great" to the chorus of articles in the latest isssue of Pop).
It was somewhat of an inevitability. Her off-schedule show had people in raptures and forevermore, the contrast between white lace trapped in kinky clear PVC stamped Rocha as someone who knows a thing or two about texture games. She didn't disappoint for her A/W 12-3 collection and refined her aesthetic even more, so much so that her MA collection seemed like a distant memory. You forget, that she's only really been four seasons in. She upped the tactability factor by looking at tribes of Papua New Guinea and then 1930s street urchin children of her native Dublin. I'm also reminded of Irish photographer Niall O'Brien's Good Rats series that depics street tribes at their most quiet and strangely beautiful. It's this mix of regal and untamed that underscores the collection. Slick mirror leather is the hard counterpart to the soft fluffy wool knit collar. A spotty print hide or sheeny shiny black ponyskin has a wildness to it that is coaxed back to elegance in a boxy oversized coat. PVC gets an burst of tufted yarns that could be likened to Papupa New Guinea tribal costume. The ladylike connotations of Melton and Linton tweed (oft used by Chanel) gets a layering of tulle to form a barrier of refinement. It's as if Rocha knows exactly when materials start looking cliched and banal and has the ability to stop them from doing so, with the wave of her texture-driven magic wand.
It's this precise knack for contrast and balance that got female hearts racing in the audience. I came away wanting to dress head to toe and submerse myself completely in Rocha's work. That's a hard feat for someone who craves the mix n' match.
In the shoe department, Rocha has long displayed a maturity that is beyond her years. The idea of working perspex into a brogue has the potential for becoming a design classic, as recognisable as Hussein Chalayan's wooden table skirt or Issey Miyake's Pleats Please technique. Rocha went for a pure stable of flat brogues and pumps and the perspex became a thin accent embedded in the sole, shining in clear, lime or coral. With two pairs of Simone Rocha's already in the closet, it invariably means that I'll now have to go the whole hog and continue that tradition with this season. That's no hardship considering the choice at hand.