John Rocha’s Cool Icelandic Vision for AW’14

by Katie on February 16, 2014


There’s so much hype around the hipper, newer designers during LFW that it often loses sight of the old masters who do it well, consistently and stunningly. John Rocha is one such man. A man who quietly and confidently goes about his business of producing extraordinarily beautiful swathes of ethereal yet gutsy femininity and charm that you can’t blame a writer for thinking, ‘why has his daughter, Simone, got such acclaim while her pater is clearly dyed-in-the-Irish-wool, bona fide talent & vision?’. It’s a mystery and a quandary that the fashion jury often bypasses beauty in the hunt for the new. Worramistakatomakea.


John Rocha is often linked to the word, ethereal. Of women drifting through time and tide wrapped in balloon folds of velvet, lace, crochet and organza. And, true to form, Mr Rocha’s latest collection, inspired by the dusk and dark light of Icelandic skies and the modernist brushwork of Pierre Soulages turned out a palette of colours  and textures in fifty shades of black, and murky shades of forest green, shadowy garnet and forest smoke. Rocha’s master stroke is his textural approach and his loosely structured silhouettes.


Raw-edge tweed trapeze coats and cropped jackets fell from the shoulder, skirts and tunics were layered in embroidered tulle, lace and silk and great swathes of organza were used to effect on dresses, skirts, collars and as oversized corsages of the type that that Carrie Bradshaw would envy. Hand crochet, appliqued velvet and scattered cutwork leaves showed this collection was about applying skill as much as it was on vision.


What’s to be applauded is Rocha’s defiant vision of women as powerful yet fragile – of bold, approachable beauty and the play of dark and light, moods, shades and visions. Like the women who opt for his clothes, Rocha provides a taste of difference in a sea of the next-best-thing. He’s like a fine wine that a cultured palate can appreciate that builds with age and experience.

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