London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: John Rocha

With Abbey Lee Kershaw once again making a special appearance, John Rocha put on another beautifully elaborate show filled with texture, volume and 'mythical warriors'. It's one of my LFW favourites and was held in the BFC tent, as always, on Saturday 17th September.

Written by Georgia Takacs

John Rocha SS 2012 by Sarah Harman
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Sarah Harman

Harold Tillman, Hilary Alexander and James Goldstein were just a few of the fashion bigwigs to take their prime seating positions in anticipation of the latest John Rocha collection. This was much the same scenario when I attended Rocha’s show last season and the high-flying professionals seem to have become a favoured crowd for Rocha’s front row. And it’s not surprising when, needless to say, the designer is a long-standing, treasured feature of London Fashion Week who is widely celebrated and, most of all, respected.

John Rocha by Duilio Marconi 1

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi 2

Model Abbey Lee Kershaw opened the show and took to the runway in the opening outfit. Sporting an all-black voluminous textured dress, her entrance had photographers’ flashes illuminating the BFC tent. Kershaw, who was finally dubbed a supermodel this year by V magazine, had also been presented as a key feature in Rocha’s A/W 2011 show back in February, suggesting that Rocha has seemingly taken quite a shine to the 24 year-old Australian.

John Rocha SS 2012 LFW by Nicola Ellen 2
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Also just like last season, (Rocha loves his traditions!) the models were styled with wind-swept nymph hair and long braided plaits. Make-up was minimal, pure and simple with pale fresh-faced skin and nude colouring; an overall effortless ethereal look to compliment John Rocha’s signature design ethic.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Much to their delight, I’m sure, John Rocha was one designer that gave models’ skinny-pins a short break from killer heels. In their place were black platformed flat sandals, adding an updated feminine grunge look (minus all the pain!).

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

 Rocha SS 2012 LFW by Nicola Ellen 1
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

To name a few of the many more intricacies that went into Rocha’s elaborately crafted collection, ribbons were attached to hair and hung long next to plaits and all models sported either wire or feather headdresses. The problem with this idea was that because Abbey had opened the show in a wired headdress with black feathers, I was almost convinced that a major fashion disaster had occurred. Models were appearing with bare wire headdresses; no feathers. They looked absolutely bizarre so I naturally assumed that their feathers must have fallen off. What a nightmare, I thought. This wasn’t the case at all. It was purposeful. Just John Rocha keeping us on our toes, I suppose.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Just as was the case with his A/W11 collection, the colour palette was ultra-minimal with neutral tones dominating throughout. In fact, there were only three colours on the agenda; all rich-black ensembles led to cream creations which then led to head-to-toe stark white. With only black, cream and white, the focus shifted away from colour to texture instead. Texture was intricately and ornately crafted with Abbey’s opening black raffia dress, raw raffia that made up other ensembles, loops of black rubber and Lurex threads intertwined in the cream and white garments.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha Catwalk LFW by Nicola Ellen jpg
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Towering tall over John Rocha, Abbey Lee Kershaw once again led the Hong Kong born designer down the catwalk for another of his gracious finales. And, as has become tradition, he placed a kiss on Abbey‘s cheek at the feet of the snapping papz, and then John Rocha was off, thanking and bowing to the audience as he went.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi
All photography by Duilio Marconi

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