Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Picture a Victorian mansion skirted by gardens in full bloom. It’s a mid-19th century spring, the men offshore perhaps on steamships, doing the deeds of the British Empire – and here stands this sumptuous home, all of a womanly realm. Maids and dames, daughters and aids. Think of house politics, of feuds and sisterhoods, of fatherless childhoods. Of tactile pathways by the silks and tulles of its soft furnishing, draperies and bed nettings, crib skirts and doilies, curtains and slipcovers in luminous whites and creams. Simone Rocha’s collection for spring 2018 could be taking its cues from such a place and time, and the women who lived in and by it back then. Interiors and inner lives. Some of the looks shine with maid-like cleanness, creaseless with purpose. Others flow gently like sleepwear, 19th century sleepwear, in all of its forgotten elegance, private and queenly. The teardrop sparkles of candelabra are echoed in jewellery and head ornaments, the unexpected sheerness of lace petticoats a show of defiance and intention in the absence of men. Rocha studied the paintings of Michaël Borremans, and looked at precious porcelain dolls – hyperfeminine and textbook uncanny.