• Text Jake Hall
  • 16th September 2019


Simone Rocha has always sought inspiration in her Irish heritage, but for SS20 she looked specifically to the Wrenboys – hunters, who on every St. Stephen’s Day would knock on the doors of strangers and sing for money. The collection was shown in a vast, restored Victorian theatre in Alexandra Palace, whose faded splendour was chosen to represent the houses these musical rebels would knock on. Folk songs filled the air, as Rocha’s own high-fashion Wrengirls walked the runway.

The collection itself was signature Simone Rocha: skirts frothed out into layers of ruffled chiffon; shirts were draped in lace and teamed with flower headbands; models finished off their looks with trademark, shiny brogues. There was darkness amongst the babydoll dresses and chintzy prints; one look featured sombre black Victoriana frills layered over a crisp white shirt and a suit jacket, hinting at the masculinity that Rocha wanted to capture in her press release.

From straw sashes to blood-red sequins, the collection weighed heavy with new prints, ideas and demi-couture silhouettes. Peeling wallpaper inspired the earliest looks, a series of semi-transparent ivory gowns decorated with intricate, china blue patterns; daisies and berries came later on, bringing a sense of lightness to the collection. To round off her story, Rocha even cast a series of charismatic Irish actors – of all ages. It’s these small details that demonstrate the designer’s commitment to storytelling, as well as her ability to bring her enraptured guests along for the ride.