The wake

Simone Rocha FW24 was inspired by Queen Victoria’s 40 years of mourning
By Barry Pierce | Fashion | 18 February 2024

Simone Rocha has had a busy season. Having just delivered 36 couture looks for Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris, she came back to her home in London to present 50 looks just over three weeks later. Rocha’s FW24 show finishes off a triptych of shows that began with SS24. That show, The Dress Rehearsal, was followed by the Gaultier couture show, dubbed The Procession. Now we have The Wake which was inspired by Queen Victoria’s 40 years of mourning after the death of her husband Prince Albert.

Even if you hadn’t had this information, you’d know something was up by the funeral colour palette of the show. Blacks and navies, brown faux fur stoles, balaclava-like hoods that reflected the mourning hoods that Victoria wore at all times outdoors during her four decades of mourning. The most obvious link to the Victorian era, however, was the abundance of corsets on the runway, whether they were on display as pieces themselves or hidden under coats to create exaggerated, curved waistlines.

One of the most interesting aspects of every Simone show is what she’s going to do with the menswear. Her aesthetic is so ingrained into coquette culture that her menswear creations also feel so utterly new. This season found her making immaculate suits with brocade shoulder pieces, evening coats with fur trimming, and brooch-encrusted patterned drop shoulder jackets, all of them in the darkest of midnight blacks. Boys had billowing white shirts that incorporated gigantic bows that tied around the neck and carried bags that looked like Kerry Blue terriers. Being Irish, Simone knows how to do a proper wake, and with this show, she proved that fact to everyone. 

GALLERYCatwalk images from Simone Rocha WOMENS-FALL-WINTER-24