Simone Rocha has a knack for blending her dual-heritage with playful, technical silhouettes and a good dose of imagination; all of which was evident at her Spring/Summer 2019 show at London Fashion Week. Titled “Qing Ming, Team Ming, Ming Thing,” the collection’s main inspiration lay in Rocha and much of her team’s Asian heritage. Speaking with Vogue, Rocha shared ““I was thinking about portraits of concubines from the Tang dynasty in the 16th century. I found a copy of one in a market in Hong Kong. We started playing with imitating the imitations.” Alongside this opulence, in true Simone Rocha style, there was an underlying element of darkness. “I was also thinking about the Qing Ming, the Chinese equivalent of the day of the dead, when everyone goes up the mountain in Hong Kong to clean their family’s gravestones. I was there this Easter when we went up to visit our grandparents,” she shared with Vogue.
The resulting collection was full of extravagant silhouettes that framed femininity with a romantically dark edge. Large, puffball dresses, belted jackets and delicately draped shawls were seen in silk, lace and chiffon with floral embroidery and graphic Chinese prints providing an eye-catching contrast to the soft, yet structured, garments. Accessories were just as captivating, with feather-bottomed shoes, fluffy wristlets and crystal-topped headbands sure to be amongst the most lust-worthy items for the upcoming season. Perhaps the most standout items, however, were the oversized, veil-topped hats that at once pulled together the entire concept, seamlessly blending effervescence and gloom in the beautiful way that only Simone Rocha can.