simone rocha’s sensual spring/summer 17
After autumn/winter 16 honed in on her experience of childbirth and mused over motherhood, this season Simone reclaimed her own sensuality and celebrated the dreamy reality she holds dear.
"I feel like myself again," Simone Rocha says with a smile as the MMOTHS soundtrack echoes through Southwark Cathedral. In other surroundings it would feel like a homecoming, but inside the cathedral of the south bank of the Thames, it felt like a reaffirmation.
"Uniform, form, patchwork, work, influenced by Jackie's Farm," read her succinct show notes. As Rocha returns to the work she holds dear, she places her lens over Jackie Nickerson's radical and compassionate view of African farm workers, which Rocha had seen juxtaposed with the old masters in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland. Paul Henry's The Potato Diggers was one example cited by Rocha.
Much like the Anglo-American photographer's study of individual agricultural workers and farmers carrying items associated with their work, Rocha was particularly fascinated with how demands of practicality played with form and function. "I was drawn to the idea of land girls, real girls on the farm," she explains. "With bags tied onto the body, we wanted to explore ideas of practicality whilst distorting the silhouette. It's workwear." Workwear in deconstructed tulle, fine yarn, lace, plastic and scatterings of sequins. It's unquestionable airy, floaty and dreamy but it is also grounded. Rooted in Rocha's reality. From her signature broderie anglaise to the combination of the natural with the synthetic, there's an organic evolution as fabrics, shapes and ideas cross-pollinate. Welcome home, Simone Rocha.
Text Steve Salter
Photography Mitchell Sams