Words: Izzy Copestake
Photography: Estelle Hannania
If a designer can hold their own at Paris Couture Week, legend status is instantly within reach. Yesterday, Dublin-born fashion designer Simone Rocha not only held her own, but held the fashion world in a trance. Guest designing a collection for none other than Jean Paul Gaultier (whose wide grin was a clear seal of approval), she put herself within reach of icon status. Showcasing an enchanting collection of the finest craftsmanship, a nod to Gaultier’s sharp edged sensuality, and her signature take on coquettish femininity which has won widespread plaudits.
If you can’t have Simone Rocha without bows, then you certainly cannot have Jean Paul Gaultier without his iconic cone bra. Debuted in his Fall/Winter 1984-1985 show ‘Barbès’ and propelled to to mainstream fame by featuring on Maddona’s 1990 ‘Blonde Ambition’ tour wardrobe, it’s no surprise that Rocha gave a nod to the holy grail of all bras by including her own take on the pointy cup. The cone bras pointed upwards, reminiscent of both horns and growing roses that twist are creep upwards – another key feature of Simone’s designs.
Taking inspiration from funeral processions in the Aran Isles, where women dye their garments a shade of red to wear as a veil at funeral processions, red has been part of Rocha’s work from the beginning of her career. The darkness hinted by this single colour was to expected in Paris, with one model wearing a trailing red ball gown with the upwards pointing cone bra, another in a black silk gown embroidered with blood red dandelion feather pom poms, and one model simply clutching a red pair of gloves, mirroring the sense of undressing and undoing which permeated the entire collection.