John Rocha’s warriors

Having been relegated to the foyer, and the big black box that they call the cinema, when the main London Fashion Week show space was over capacity at 5pm on Saturday, I was close to throwing a hissy fashion fit. Turns out my demotion was a stroke of luck because at the John Rocha spring 2012 show the devil was in the detail. Watching a big screen projection of what was happening on the other side of the firmly closed door, us poor forlorn outsiders (all in possession of a legitimate standing ticket) probably got a better take on the collection than if we were squinting from the back row.

What advantage did that zoom lens perspective afford? We got to see the elaborate Rocha craftsmanship up close. This season it was all about texture. Coarse tangled tassels were heaped on black A-line dresses like seaweed on a shoreline; murky chiffon mille feuille box pleats fluttered on skirts; and dense cobwebs of ivory crochet covered taut bodices.

Headed up by Abbey Lee Kershaw, these girls were Rocha’s warrior princesses, stomping down the runway on platform sandals and crowned with wire and feather headdresses. This war queen theme translated into clothes you could take into that battle we call the daily grind with a select few tailored pieces, specifically a white double-breasted pea coat and sleeveless blazer that were edged with tufts of shearling, plus floor length trousers that were almost palazzo width. As for the rest, warrior garb may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those with a taste for Rocha’s brand of quasi-couture craftsmanship this is a vintage year. If a collection can look this tactile on a pop-up silver screen, just imagine what it would be like to touch.

View the collection for yourself by clicking on the thumbnails above.