In Simone Rocha’s Spring Summer 2022 collection, a dichotomy of the angelic and devilish is at play, just as they are in the binary conceptualisations of children’s religious ceremonies – christening, baptism, communion. In this vein, there are various takes on the baby’s christening dress, with generous applications of ribbon, lace and embroidery. Pieces take on the silhouette of liturgical surplices and Sunday-best jackets, with the added Simone Rocha touch of embroidered pearls throughout.
The looks take on a haphazardness that typifies how children are dressed. Cosy oversized cardigans are worn over flouncy dresses, and pieces are layered one over another, here and there coming off one shoulder, as if the models had just rolled out of bed.
The purely angelic is always tempered by an element of rebellion. There are gothic lace-up boots that accompany austere black coats, futuristic vinyl jackets toughen up the froufrou, tutu-like mini skirts, and models wear beaded crowns and sport temporary tattoos over their faces in acts of childish disobedience.
These references to childhood are also coupled with those of motherhood. The nursing bra, usually seen as a purely practical garment, inspires new design possibilities. As their removable flaps are folded out to propose a different silhouette, they reveal intricate beading and embroidery underneath.