There are a ton of fashion designers I admire from afar, keeping up to speed with their latest collections, style forecasts and general élan through the medium of magazines, Twitter and savvy bloggers.
For me, Simone Rocha is definitely up there with the best of them.
Admiration from afar, of course, as sadly her collections are a galaxy away from my tightly managed Fashion budget (from which funds are currently being used for Moving Into New Gaff and Being a Grown Up budget).
The AW14-15 Ruffled stretch-scuba Straight-leg Pants are beautiful (oh go on then, throw in the matching top and you've got a deal) but at £925 a pop, that means missing mortgage payment, goodbye food, no duly paid tax to Waltham Forest Council, no Netflix. No nothing.
Frivolous me says, 'Pah, go for it! What are you worried about? HSBC will definitely be sympathetic if you miss one payment and I bet they don't reeeaaally mean it when they say 'Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage'. Besides, you'll look fancy and will stay completely dry in water'.
Realistic me says, 'Oh, get over yourself. Get yourself down to COS where you belong. Besides you're always hungry and you're part way through Season 2 of Orange is the New Black and will therefore be bereft if you chuck in Netflix'.
See, it's always a conflict. So for now it's back to wistfully perusing vogue.co.uk and scrutinising simone.rocha.com to get my Rocha fix. I have been curious about the designer for a few years now and a certified Rocha fan girl since her SS13 show at London Fashion Week where she showcased one of the strongest trends - great big splashes of punchy neon in yellow and pink.
Her designs have stayed firmly on my wish list ever since and even more so in September 2013, when Cara Delevingne popped from the pages of British Vogue in the Pink Lady feature. Captured by Walter Pfeiffer in a variety of blush toned pieces, Francesca Burns wrapped Cara in Rocha's bubble gum Candy Mesh Coat from the AW13-14 collection which I lusted over all season (and settled begrudgingly for the Zara imitation). Lovely all the same, but no Rocha.
So who is Simone Rocha? Born in Dublin in 1986 to the hugely successful designer John Rocha CBE and his wife Odette, style was always going to be in her DNA. She graduated with a BA in Fashion from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin and then in 2010 from the acclaimed Fashion MA course at Central Saint Martin's College in London. She showed her MA collection as part of the CSMC show at London Fashion Week in February 2010, showcasing her SS and AW11 collections with Fashion East. Further achievements soon racked up with the presentation of her SS12 collection as a solo catwalk show at London Fashion Week in September 2011. Her AW and SS13 collections were shown at Somerset House during London Fashion Week to critical acclaim and she won the 'Emerging Talent Award - Womenswear' at the British Fashion Awards in 2013.
In the past, her signature look has included mannish, oversized tailoring and crochet and lace and she is synonymous with brogues that receive her unique treatment. I love the youthful, feminine yet tomboyish allure of her designs that have a definite edge; there's nothing saccharine about her sweetness. Her AW14-15 collection had an Elizabethan influence with ample proportions and contrasting fabrics, and showcased a fresh, cool aesthetic with her own specially developed house tartan.
Oh to swan about in Simone. How fierce it would be to rock a Rocha. Clad top to toe in Simone Rocha is the woman I wish to be; coolly serene, keeping it firmly together in minimal masterpieces with sharpness and interest. Rocha's designer's profile on the London Fashion Week 2014 website cites the ideal client as 'A woman who wants to wear beautiful things.” That's me, Simone, that's me!
OK, so I'm not there yet; I realise the Simone Rocha woman would not have hastily superglued together the broken strap of her Top Shop Chunky Platform Sandals before scooting madly out the door for work, only to hear the ping of the strap a mere two minutes later as they fell apart with a too-enthusiastic power walk to the station. The Simone Rocha woman certainly would not have continued to wear them all through the working day and then dancing into the boozy Shoreditch night, walking with a noticeable limp and removing a lot of skin from their ankle in the process. No way.
The Simone Rocha woman would have popped on some gold metallic textured-leather brogues or chain-embellished calf hair point-toe flats and cast those broken sandals aside with aplomb.
There's clearly work to do. For now, Simone remains an impasse for me; no progress can be made in this matter as quite frankly there ain't nothing going on but the mortgage. Besides, I have radiator valves to fork out for. Yep, that's right. Radiator. Valves.
So instead, I will keep admiring. I will keep poring over the photos and clucking with admiration at the S/S15 collection described by Vogue as 'fashion poetry' with its nude mesh, bodices with fluff and red flowers (fluff!) and translating the Rocha look into something a bit more accessible for the time being.
Because I absolutely adore fashion.
Because it makes me very, very content to do so.
- 22 March 2010 – www.independent.co.uk – Daddy's Girl: Simone Rocha
- London Fashion Week 2014 - Designer's Profile
- Vogue.co.uk - Simone Rocha