There was a buzz at John Rocha’s show as the sun went down over Somerset House on Saturday evening. David Bowie’s Heroes set an uplifting, optimistic tone as the models came out and the audience relaxed, safe in the knowledge they were in the hands of a master of wearable-yet-quirky clothes.
There were gorgeous black ruffled dresses and tops, weird sculpted helmets and odd clog-type shoes (noo, not another season of clogs!). Black felt pieces looked as if they’d been tattered and burned, with sparkly shimmering dark panels adding a touch of dark glamour.
A simple, elegant black and nude palette and a swingy trapeze silhouette allowed the different textures to sing – ruffles, loops, knobbly felt bumps all made an appearance. There was a faintly Dickensian feel to the proceedings, with male models in distressed bowlers and crombies striding down the catwalk evoking Robert Downey Jr’s recent turn as a rakish Sherlock Holmes.
Other standout pieces were military shoulder capes with upturned collars, a fluid nude silk gown and a stunning cream crochet dress with dancing skirts. Wearable classics were given a twist – a timeless pea-coat had intricate loops all over its skirt, a cropped jacket sported a huge collar.
The show closed with dramatic pieces including a chunky giant arran knit swing coat, a black leather tiered dress and what appeared to be a black ‘wedding dress’ that looked like it had been in a trunk in the attic! Brooding and gothic perhaps, but with a distinctly beating heart.