Sunday, 21 February 2010


It was a show of melancholy romance for John Rocha’s AW10 collection. Victoriana swung its way down the catwalk in a swathe of black, lace and ruffles – with modesty kept intact by just the revealing of the knees and shoulders in peek-a-boo tights and the longest of gloves. The men resembled a smouldering Heathcliffe, with riding boots and raw animal skin coats embodying unrefined finery; while the women wouldn’t have looked out of place on the moors in their torn petticoats and dirty cream frills. A recurring theme this season is the combination of the most chocolaty of browns paired with the buffest noir leather, and Rocha showed just how to do it, topped off with the tallest of hats secured daintily under the chin with vintage ribbon.

Famed for his experimental approach to fabric and technique, this show demonstrated in leaps and bounds just why he was given a CBE in 2002 for contributions to the fashion industry. The trapeze line dresses swung and bounced to perfection while carefully gathered ruffles cajoled playfully at the bottom of hemlines adding a playful injection of volume. This Hong-Kong born designer has come a long way since graduating from the Croydon School of Art in the Seventies, and should definitely be thought of as more than just a diffusion line at Debenhams. This showcase of rock and roll gentry mixed with Victoriana nightwear turned daywear has Autumn/Winter wrapped up, with plenty of attitude.

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