If you are into 19th century Victorian fashion, then you must have seen Simone Rocha’s name on glossy magazine pages, or perhaps you have seen familiar models touting Rocha’s designs on fashion red carpets. Rocha has been quietly carving a name for herself for the past decade by blending corsets, petticoats, and skirts from the 19th century with the modern-day frilled jackets. In most of her work, traditionalism meets modernism in a sleek manner where it’s hard to decipher the difference between the two. In this post, we look at her latest AR fashion experience created with H&M.
Having been trained by Louise Wilson, Simone Rocha graduated with an M.A. from Central Saint Martins. Her much-anticipated debut collection blended her vision of femininity with her sense of coquettish design. Her dreamy and captivating floral prints and embellished designs have found their way to the top, garnering nods of approval from A-list celebrities like Keira Knightley and Rihanna. Over time, she has proved that she is indeed her father’s daughter (John Rocha) who shares a keen sense of taste in fashion with her daughter.
In the wake of the pandemic, both H&M and Simone Rocha have created an imaginative way to honor and present their collaborative collection. The collaboration is presented through a pop-up augmented reality book that brings many of the aforementioned familiar faces to life right on your kitchen table or wherever you choose to open the book. The experience features the digital twins of Helena Bonham Carter CBE, Barry Keoghan, Francesca Hayward, Rowan Blanchard, Kaia Gerber, Kelsey Lu, Paloma Elsesser, sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar, Omari Douglas, Djenaba, Nancy Andersen, Jess Maybury, Lily Ashley and Hugo Hamlet of Voo Le Voo, and William De Val Darby. The artist also features in the Rocha x H&M collection campaign.
Simone Rocha has a history of publishing artistic content in collaboration with image-makers and artists. For this new augmented reality experience, the internationally acclaimed Irish designer collaborated with Faye Wei Wei, the acclaimed British painter. The artistic direction came from the famous M/M Paris agency along with many skilled technicians and designers.
This AR fashion opens doors for a new way of storytelling in fashion. In the past, we used to have physical lookbooks, online photo galleries, and offline presentations. With AR experiences, it is a great way to experience fashion and the designer’s vision without leaving your house. During a time in which solitude and distancing are the norms, these “live performances” allow us to rekindle our connectedness and excitements found in real-life interactions and events. What’s a better way to share the story of your collections other than showing it right in front of you, right?
For this campaign, there are a total of five volumes. Each volume is a card that’s painted by Faye Wei Wei with QR codes printed in the middle. As you scan the QR code, Faye Wei Wei’s floral arts instantly becomes a backdrop for a dynamic experience performed by the celebrities. In Rocha’s AR fashion “lookbook”, the characters including Helena Bonham Carter CBE are only 10.5 cm tall as they are seen swirling, prancing, and teetering across the pop-up book.
This is the first time the Irish designer has offered a full family collection that includes menswear, womenswear, and childrenswear. The entire collection features pink tulle dresses, voluminously detailed frocks, and pearl-trimmed sweaters for women. The accessories are just as carefully planned with chandelier earrings, silk hair bows, feathered flats, and crown-like headbands.
The whole collection will remind you of zeitgeist of Victorian times. The graceful gowns accentuated with highly chic accessories aren’t exactly something you find in everyday designer collections. Every piece is designed to offer a distinct and unique identity that gives the wearer more than just something to wear. With Rocha’s designs, you are wearing a piece of art and you become a piece of art.
One of the most exciting things about this collection is its inclusion. Rocha explained her thinking behind the collection talking to Vogue, “When H&M came to talk, I said, if I’m going to do it, I want to do it for everybody, not only women but men and children.” The collection is reasonably priced with everything just under $349.
In a time when we can’t interact much with each other, this collaboration promises to fuel our emotional senses with an exclusive fashion experience that we can enjoy in our homes. Rocha and H&M have shown the fashion world how to let consumers closer to the fashion they love. Can you think of anything better during Covid-19?
Want to check out some more designers. We did a post on emerging 3D fashion designers that we think you may find interesting.