John Rocha: heavily inspired

It may have been another of the autumn 2011 shows to work in the season’s on-trend statement reds and faux fur, but John Rocha’s London fashion week showing will be remembered by those in attendance for its blacks, its copious fabrics and its intricate hair braiding, all of which worked to set the show apart.

Thankfully the latter two of the show’s standout qualities weren’t lavished upon its menswear component. While the use of tumbled yarn and tufted threads was kept at a minimum for men, each pieces’ boxy cut thus appealing to my eye all the more for it, within women’s it came out thick (pardon the pun) and fast.

A poor pun it is, but thick may just be the the best word to describe the voluminous nature of some of the pieces. Rocha tells that his inspiration for each was the art of abstract painter Pierre Soulages – for those who don’t know of Soulage’s work it plays heavily with the theme of thick, black paint upon a lighter background. Striking as art, but when it comes to fashion it can be problematic. Heavy and thick pieces don’t always work as they should, and while they were finished and moved with brilliance in the collection’s clothing componentry, amongst the headpieces they were somewhat self defeatist with their weight tempting them to slip off with each step a model took.

Pressed wools and textured tweeds aside, John Rocha’s collection wasn’t all heavy. Blacks were lightened with tinseled yarns, winter whites made an appearance, furs were tanned, lace was used (though without the sexualisation we’ve seen from others), asymmetrical cuts had a softness to them where others have tended to stiffness for the season, and sheer dresses were used. All worked to counterbalance some of the collection’s heaviest looks, but it’s still hard to remember the collection for them.

All our photos of John Rocha‘s autumn / winter 2011 / 2012 are now online. You can view all the photos by clicking on the thumbnails in the gallery below.