Rocha’s work inspires a new question: are past moments in time all that we — designers and audiences alike — can be inspired by?
A collection set in the juxtaposition of femininity and utilitarianism, Simone Rocha S/S 2024 at London Fashion Week offered, in the designer’s own words, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something baby blue.”
Even though the clear manifestation of this romantic ideal is breathtaking, the face decoration in Rocha’s work constantly caught my eye. Whether it be a subtly bejeweled face, long satin bows that mimic tears, painted flowers, or even face covers, the Rocha Effect is nostalgic enough — but intriguing every time.
The storyline when it comes to face details has remained cohesive for Rocha. The Spring/Summer 2024 collection featured a collaboration with Crocs, and the signature style can’t be missed: jewels are present in all forms of the shoe.
Where does the inspiration come from? The whimsical use of face accessories in the most purposeful way speaks to my storyteller soul —however, it teeters on the line of being too predictable. We’ve heard of the bow tax and the lack of fresh takes that Fashion Week so desperately needs. Nostalgia tends to be heavily favored, since it relies on concepts that previously had definitive success — a key example being Sandy Liang taking inspiration from Sofia Coppola films. But this creates a new struggle: what else is up Liang’s sleeve? Are past moments in time all that we — designers and audience alike — can be inspired by?
In any case, the question is not necessarily negative. Maybe the next answer we should be looking for is how beauty on the runway will influence the soft-girl zeitgeist. The particular sweetness of Rocha’s details (as well as Liang’s) always leaves a mark. Ribbons and other feminine accessories are present and loved. Embracing girlhood has not only become a trend, but a welcome cultural shift on all platforms. So this signature romanticism is harmless, fun, easy enough to adopt, and it makes girls feel good about being girls. Ribbons and jewels have always been a part of that; however, the line is still in the sand. If these runway looks become too on the nose or too predictable, it could all be over pretty soon, and the pendulum could swing back towards a more stoic, maybe even androgynous look — one that deeply defined the early 2010s.
Although I truly enjoy the feminine use of accessories, I hope we can skip the end of girlhood, because if not, it would mean the trend would “grow up” and be judged as a woman’s whim. Meaning, the short life cycle of the idolization of this trend could inevitably mean its downfall is very, very close. 🌀