To say John Rocha’s offerings this season were dramatic would be something of an understatement. Let’s just say there were giant crochet hats and hand-sculpted petals. But let’s start at the beginning.
The order of the day was sheer. We’re preserving no modesty whatsoever for SS14 according to John. Sleek, white chiffon maxi skirts with an almost fishtail-esque kick, hip skimming sheer shift tops and almost hessian-feel jackets with peter pan collars and raw, cut-off sleeves thrown over the top. A rural touch against the romantic elegance of an otherwise sheer sea of organza and chiffon embellishment, scattered with blooms and petals.
The drama really set in with the aforementioned hats. Or structures, rather. To call these monumental feats of headwear engineering plain ‘hats’ would be underselling them somewhat. Lattices of interwoven loops (almost like lace frozen in ice) were imagined in wide-brimmed and ‘cap’ styles with hair underneath worn slick, wet-look and crimped to mirror the lacquered detailing.
The humble peplum silhouette was re-imagined, restructured and shifted onto dresses, creating a double, ruffled layer over sheer black maxi shapes and long sleeved uppers. Ruffles also edged higher to cover chest and arms in a bolero effect and stiff loops of organza created tangled hoop skirts that bobbed and swayed as the models stalked down the double catwalk. Lace was edged in gold and bags were large, flat and rectangular (fine as long as all you’re carrying is a single sheet of paper) but very simple and clean.
All very romantic and all very beautiful. And all very sheer. Nicely done John Rocha.
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London Fashion Week SS14 runs from Friday 13 to Tuesday 17 September. Stay tuned for more coverage.
Image by Charlotte White