LFW: JOHN ROCHA F/W 2014

[Please read the following statement utilizing your best fake British accent.] Oh my, but it does appear that the chrysanthemum in Mum’s garden has grown legs and escaped! [\accent]

John Rocha likes hats. John Rocha likes big hats. John Rocha likes big, fluffy, frilly hats that look a great deal like giant cabbages. If this morning’s hats look familiar, it might be because Rocha used a very similarly-styled head piece last year for his spring/summer 2013 collection. The primary difference between that season and this is that apparently he’s been watering and feeding the hats and they’ve grown so large that they’ve necessarily spilled over onto collars. The result is that is appeared the whole garden had just grown legs and walked out of its own accord.

Warning: wearing one of these ensembles to dinner may result in an extensive dry cleaning bill afterward.

No one has ever accused John Rocha’s runway collections of being wearable. Inevitably, significant adjustments are made between what is shown on the catwalk and what actually appears in stores. Large ruffles are likely to be toned down considerably and there may well be some fabric substitutions to replace those that may be too delicate to actually wear out in public.

Still, this is a very fun and entertaining collection. As always, it was the hand-crocheted pieces that really captured everyone’s heart and attention. Rocha is a master with a crochet hook and it is those elements, surrounding coloured pieces of leather or velvet and topped with large ruffly collars, that really make this collection. From the very first dress done head-to-toe in black to the finale piece with red accents, this is Rocha’s signature look and the one he inevitably does the best.

Between all the crochet are ruffly pieces in taffeta and velvet and silk and satin and seemingly every other fabric on which Rocha could get his hands. Winners include some absolutely wonderful tweed pieces with frayed lining poking out at the sleeves and pants cuffs as well as sheer dresses covered in very colorful floral applique. Slipped into the middle of the collection are some very striking pieces of laser-cut lace. The look is somewhere between his crochet work and an abstract sculpture.

Rocha is a master of accessories as well. Block-heeled shoes with large buckles on the front were an instant hit. Well-sized handbags are sure to sell quickly, also. Neck chokers … we’ll have to see.

John Rocha is a wonderfully bright and friendly person who never fails to put on a wonderful runway show. This season was certainly no exception. We just hope all those flowers make it back to their garden safely.

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