Thursday, 27 February 2014

John Rocha Autumn/Winter 2014 Womenswear

On looking back at the numerous collections that fashion designers worldwide have unveiled for Autumn/Winter 2014 over the last few weeks, it is hard not to include John Rocha’s creations as one of the most accomplished examples of womenswear for that season. Drawing inspiration from the work of French painter, engraver, and sculptor Pierre Soulages, and from the light and hues witnessed in the Icelandic skies and landscapes at dusk, the ultra-romantic collection balanced a delicate line between the paradoxes of tenderness and strength and of ornate indulgence and blunt formalism that brought out the best in Rocha’s ingenuity.

Throughout the runway show that the Irish designer unveiled during London Fashion Week, an array of alluring silhouettes played on the notions of volume and form by working sculptural trapeze coats and dresses; raw-edged tweed cropped jackets with slouched shoulders; skirts and tunics layered in embroidered tulle, lace and silk; and voluminous velvet overcoats with oversized lapels and pocket flaps. In addition, layers and textures were interpreted in hand-crocheted dresses, appliqu├ęd velvet winter floral embroideries, patent glazed felt and leather applications in the shape of leaves, and hand-made raffia lace pieces. However, what stole the show were the John Rocha signature-style delicate layers of silk georgettes and chiffons, and masterfully cut swathes of organza layered in large ruffles on dresses, skirts, and oversized corsages and Pierrot-style collars. 

If, on an immediate reaction, this was a collection that seemed to rehash the Victorian and Edwardian shapes that the designer had explored in his previous two collections, on close inspection, with his Autumn/Winter 2014 womenswear collection, John Rocha evidenced a depurated and refined sensibility that lifted his creativity and technical proficiency to a new upper echelon of sartorial excellence.

Photographs courtesy of John Rocha

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