Simone Rocha, fall 2019 – text by Silvia Bombardini

Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,

However had no one thought to associate the creative minds of Louise Bourgeois and Simone Rocha before? Think of femininity as craft, of soft, woven bodies of tapestry and flesh, of women as homes, of red and pink cobwebs. And think of the depth of field that situates Rocha’s work above the pit of pure sweetness, alongside something more substantial, spiked. Tonight the guests were welcomed after hours at the Royal Academy of Arts, where her models would brush past the paintings, fleeting intuitions in layers of flushed tulle encrusted with glittery waves. A 1986 poem by Bourgeois came by way of show notes, declaring how she, to do her work, didn’t ‘owe the why to anybody’. A self-reliance Rocha may well have come to identify with. Indeed, aside for the quite evocative roseate spiral motif, the influence of the late artist on this collection might be more spiritual than palpable. Confidence expressed in golden sequins, a sexual awakening in drop-shoulders bras worn on top of dresses, a line of ruby beads framing the breasts. The sculptural qualities of gathered inky tiers on some lustrous outerwear pieces did call to mind Bourgeois’ textile sculptures, but that aside, the collection is, as per always, an unadulterated peek into Simone Rocha’s world, with but an extra sprinkle of boldness. Rocha is her own master and she owes no whys – a testimony and an ode to creative freedom.