Simone Rocha’s signature ladylike-with-a-twist aesthetic has made her one of London’s favourite designers and a hit with critics, so it was unsurprising to see that she’s stuck to what she does best for spring/summer 2018, showing a collection at Fashion Week entirely made up of pretty-but-kooky dresses. But the one surprising inclusion? A plethora of chic black pieces. Yes that’s right – black, in summer.
Black, although the unofficial uniform of the fashion set, is usually reserved for autumn/winter. Rocha’s inclusion of it here in a series of dresses – some with orange pansy or rose prints, others sheer and embroidered with white lace, one slinky and floor-length (perfect for Morticia Addams) – was a particularly exciting part of the collection for us, self-confessed fans of the all-black uniform. Our favourite look was a hybrid-dress that combined a floral print top with half a sheer skirt, with a round-neck, balloon sleeves and skirt trailing the ankles.
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For those who want a more traditional summer dress, there were plenty of white options, with bunched up skirts, high-necks and ruffles, plus lace, sheer gauze and broderie anglaise details. There were Flamenco-inspired pieces with flashes of red, plus nude Forties-esque ones with pops of colour in the Warhol-esque floral prints.
Drawing on her previous work, she continued to play with volume and shape for SS18, this time working with layers of ruffles, balloon sleeves and rounded shoulders, all of which had an almost Eighties feel – think Molly Ringwold going to prom, but in 2017 not 1987. There were the usual ladylike accessories – from her flatform sandals to pearl-encrusted hair slides and hand-held boxy bags – all of which will no doubt become must-have items. But us? We want that black dress, please.