London Fashion Week: Simone Rocha, Gareth Pugh and Versus
Discover the new SS16 collections here
A closer look at three distinctly different shows at London Fashion Week uncovers what hyper-modern femininity, fast designer fashion and a revival of the late London nightlife looks like in physical form...
Simone Rocha Spring/Summer 16
Simone Rocha's senses were high as she developed the concept for her Spring/Summer 16 collection. The designer admitted backstage that she was in the early stages of pregnancy travelling through Kyoto "I was suddenly seeing everything so intensely" she continued "which is why there's a trippy vibe to the collection."
The "hyper-modern femininity" Rocha was channeling whilst conceptualising her collection appeared in the physical form the most delightful marriage of tough and tender at her show at Lancaster House at London Fashion Week.
The collection was full of texture, featuring puff sleeves, cloqué circle skirts, crisscrossed woven ropes, neoprene and gossamer dresses and raised floral prints.
The woven ropes, inspired by the photographs of Nobuyoshi Araki, added a contrasting element to gossamer dresses that lent themselves well to the designs without taking the hard and soft components a step too far. Rocha and her team wove all of the ties by hand in the studio, using macramé techniques.
Versus Spring/Summer 16
As the last exit took its turn on the Versus Versace runway at London Fashion Week, the same Spring/Summer 16 collection became available to purchase online. Creative director Anthony Vaccarello, with the help of Donatella Versace, has turned the Versus brand into a show-now, buy-now, wear tomorrow designer collection – a first of its kind.
With a wide range to choose from, the collection features a full black range of ready-to-wear pieces that give obvious nods to the house's confirmed classics, such as the full black dress code, the lion-head medallions, the legginess and the body-conscious cutout-and-drape shapes that allude to something more.
For the first time, however, Vaccarello introduced prints to the collection, incorporating botanical florals beside fruit patterns and leopard print. All in all, the collection felt young and contemporary even with its obvious hints to the past.
Gareth Pugh Spring/Summer 16
Not long after Gareth Pugh discovered he would be showing his Spring/Summer 16 collection at London Fashion Week in Soho, did the designer find his inspiration to bring its historic reputation as the hub of London's nightlife back to life. Pugh described his collection as "A battle royal between the drag queens and the developers."
Alive and well, the revived London nightclub atmospherics came in the form of Leigh Bowery-esque masks fully covering each model's face. This wasn't the only homage paid to Bowery however, other indicators were there in the black-and-white diamond patterned jacquard that transported the collection to his avant grade ways. Reminiscent of the late Seventies and early Eighties, fringed bodysuits with plunging necklines, Mongolian fur-trimmed plastic jackets and one-shouldered dresses and tops came sashaying down the runway lending a Halston-esque zest to the collection.
Magnificently louche, the collection's reoccurring details included paillettes – referred to as "lucky pennies" by Pugh – which appeared on the trim of a black trench coat, fully covered hot-pants, tops and dresses. Sticking with red as his signature colour for this season, Pugh managed to give his Spring/Summer 16 collection a dose of disco and hard-edged glamour.