What? John Rocha at London Fashion Week
Where? BFC, Somerset House
When? Saturday 17th September, 5pm
Who? As we waited under our umbrellas outside we watched all the big UK editors file in (Alexandra Shulman of Vogue and Jo Elvin of Glamour) plus bigtime blogger Susie Bubble.
Last season I had a ticket for the John Rocha show and I queued patiently only to be turned away, along with about 100 other people, because the BFC show space had reached capacity. Determined not to let this happen again I turned up 20 minutes early today and was sure it would all be fine since I was right at the front of the queue of standees having gone up to make sure our photographer Faraz made it in to the photo pit.
But alas my hope was dashed when we (again, there were easily 100 others) heard the music start and knew the show was under way. I won’t get into a rant about the ticket allocating procedure (there are enough shows with empty seats to understand why the PRs do it) but I will say I don’t think I’ll be chancing my luck with Mr Rocha next season.
The only silver lining to this fashion week storm cloud was that I got to go into the pop up cinema that has been installed in the BFC foyer for the first time this season and watch the show streamed live all the way from, well, about 20 metres away actually. In spite of my disappointment, I have to admit it was a great show. Not because I actually wanted to wear many of the clothes, but because it was such a coherent and well-realised production.
From the hefty platform-soled sandals that caused the models (including first out Abbey Lee Kershaw) to stomp moodily down the catwalk, to the downbeat, driving soundtrack, it all conspired to create a darkly atmospheric production. And what about the clothes? It was all about texture. Seaweed-like ruffles, raffia, crochet, feathers, irregular pleating – mostly on A-line skirted dresses, almost nothing lay flat against the skin. The densest pieces were a tangle of strands so fine they resembled cassette tape. This being Rocha, most ensembles were all black, but half way through we saw the light, from palest faun to outright white, and the first pair of trousers, wide-legged and to-the-floor.
Arguably the most wearable was the outerwear. A couple of double-breasted jackets, one sleeveless, were positively middle of the road when compared with the crunchy crochet that preceded them. According to the show notes (which I had to read vicariously via Twitter because, as I might have mentioned, I wasn’t in the venue) Rocha wanted to create warrior woman outfits, and that he did. You’d have to have a pretty fierce attitude to get away with some of these looks.
All images Faraz Pourreza-Jorshari.