The glowing reviews and huge social media interest in her playful and provocative show in Paris did not surprise her loyal Irish fans who have been buying her pieces for a decade.
Simone’s own mainline SS24 collection, which she showed at London Fashion Week last September, has arrived into Havana in Donnybook — Simone’s exclusive Irish stockist.
The trapped-roses-in-tulle luxury pieces were a standout for me when I attended her show in East London last year, but for less dressy occasions, I think her pink pleated-neck sack dress (pictured top) commands attention in a different way. I love the sophistication of the silhouette, which falls from folds in the neckline, offset by the addition of a petite red bow detail. It pays its way as a transeasonal piece, and they also have it in a black version at Nikki Creedon’s Donnybrook boutique.
The Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford wore the dress in pink on the “frow” of the Jean Paul Gaultier x Simone Rocha show.
Simone’s attention to detail was off the scale with the gowns and the fabrics: I loved her buckled-harness corset dress in ivory silk grosgrain with crystal and pearl daisy embroidery and a white tulle tutu embellished with 4,000 dandelion feather poms.
Accessories are so often the entry point for many burgeoning Rocha fans and they will have noticed those plexiglass shoes and beaded cow-parsley earrings.
It was especially thrilling watching Simone’s fresh interpretation of Gaultier’s iconic legacies — including his famous conical bras worn by Madonna. In Paris, Simone introduced peaked “thorn” conical breasts in a number of corsetry-inspired looks.
A favourite of mine was a layered style in rose poudre silk duchesse satin, with suspenders and the “thorn” conical breasts over satin duchesse shorts with all-over folded-bias ruffles.
I particularly loved how she made the “mariniere” sailor look her own, with navy silk-satin ribbon hand-knotted into bows and mounted on illusion tulle, over a corset body with emphasised hips and navy crystal daisy embroidery. The model also wore a sailor cap in ivory silk duchesse satin with corset-lace detail.
Simone has continued with her Rocha family heritage exploring Irish crochet lace. She presented it in Paris in a romantic way, patchworking traditional ivory napperon “doily” crochet with clear crystal daisy embroidery. She has employed the same panier crinoline silhouette and used metallised vintage lace with silver in a stunning strapless gown.
I cannot wait to see what Simone reveals when she shows her AW24 mainline collection at London Fashion Week next Saturday night. After her Paris success, her show is destined to be the hottest ticket in town. havanaboutique.ie
Visual artists Helen Delany and Brenda Aherne of Electronic Sheep are leaders in the field of wearable art. Childhood friends growing up in Dublin, the pair graduated in 1992 from NCAD in Visual Communication and Fashion respectively.
Six years later, they launched the Electronic Sheep brand, selling their hugely popular and collectable unisex graphic knits, which are like art for daily life, created in 100pc Italian merino wool.
Their drawings and typographic jacquards are based on narrative storylines wrapped around their personal lives and professional practices.
One of my favourites from their current collection is ‘Girl on the Liffey’. It shows a girl sitting by the Dublin river reading the first edition of Vogue magazine, published in 1916. The scarf features architectural drawings of historic landmarks such as Dublin’s O’Connell Street landscape and the GPO, and the flight of the first airship over the city.
Helen and Brenda will be in Dublin this Wednesday (February 14) to give a talk at the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts (RHA) from 5.30-6.30pm. Booking isn’t necessary and all are welcome.
They will be talking about their textile art and community-engagement artwork commissions, including their two tapestries: The Kilburn Tapestries, commissioned by London’s Brent Council, and Notifications Off, which was commissioned by First Fortnight Mental Health Art & Culture and funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.
Helen says there are themes of immigration, mental health and equality in their work, with Irish cultural figures featured on Notifications Off including Gavin Friday, Aisling Bea, Laura Whitmore and Roisin Murphy.
The duo will also be talking about their new screen prints based on the theme of the London Irish, such as the Kilburn Stoop Party, capturing many elements of the culture. electronicsheep.com