In Simone Rocha’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, the Irish fashion designer continues to straddle the line between functionality and beauty that she so frequently does in her creations. Take her bomber jackets from her latest runway show, which come in a slouchy, oversize fit in restrained black as well as an all-over pink and green floral pattern. This outerwear is then reimagined as a billowy-sleeved voluminous mini dress — identifiable by the bomber-inspired collar and zipper details. Her utilitarian pieces, whether it be a jacket or even a T-shirt, always look like works of art. All the pieces were presented before an audience, who gathered inside the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales during London Fashion Week.
If you felt like this collection, too, was a pull between hard and soft elements in dressing, that’s because Rocha wanted the seasonal lineup to reflect the emotions she has faced over the last few years. While her Fall/Winter 2022 presentation offered pure escapism, the spring items served to harness difficult feelings and the “idea of how to translate all these complex emotions into clothes” Rocha said to British Vogue. You can get a glimpse of her thought processes via runway pieces like Rocha’s puff-sleeve pink floral dresses fastened with harness straps that hang off like ribbons — the look is romantic and sentimental yet displays impressive strength and fierceness. Rocha’s floral and tulle creations are never overly saccharine as to invite groans or eye rolls from her fans.
Echinacea, chamomile, and daisy bloom motifs aside, another Rocha signature that ran throughout the entire mens and women’s collection were pearls. (The Spring 2023 lineup served as the designer’s first official foray into menswear.) Models carried out new versions of her iconic Egg purse, with one featuring a string of bulbous pearls that served as the strap while the gemstones, arranged in a ribbon design, was displayed front and center on the bag. Elsewhere, pearl clusters gathered strategically along the necklines and hemlines of dresses as to highlight one’s form and give a more visually appealing appearance to an otherwise simple knitted piece.
Standout looks from the aforementioned mens category included tiered tulle blazers and matching pinstripe trousers, babydoll tops with silver metal buckle harnessing to give the dreamy look a harden vibe, and oversized shirting with abstract whimsy floral embroidered on the front (styled with a pleated khaki colored skirt). “I’m really proud to [deliver] menswear, I felt like I could work on this beautiful masculinity. It’s justification for everything I’ve done in the last ten years, what that role plays and how it crosses over between the two — and I really wanted to explore that within masculinity,” Rocha said to Hypebeast.
One can’t end the discussion of Rocha’s brilliant Spring 2023 collection without a quick mention of her footwear, however. Continuing from fall, the designer released new colors of her sneaker-flat hybrid shoe dubbed the Ivory Pearl and Crystal Beaded Round Toe Criss-Cross Low Trek Ballerinas. For those who don’t love the chunkiness, you might find yourself scooping up Rocha’s metallic silver kicks that have a more minimalist feel. (You can still up the maximalism ante by styling said sneaker with a pair of the designer’s embellished socks, though.) Another footwear style to note in the upcoming lineup is Rocha’s new jelly perspex track shoes, which is her own unique take on the jelly shoes trend for those who desire something beyond the classic pair everyone already owns.
Scroll ahead to see more outfits from Rocha’s latest collection, including her closing couture-like bridal look. You’ll want to take the time to look at every runway outfit thoroughly, as the exquisite details should not be missed.