Fashion / Fashion News

Simone Rocha sheds girlhood for womanhood in Jean Paul Gaultier couture collection

Simone Rocha delivers a 19th-century inspired Jean Paul Gaultier couture collection

When Irish designer Simone Rocha last year publicised that she would be guest designing a couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier – the sixth fashion designer, and second woman to do so – the announcement was met with the fanfare of her devotees, and acclaim from fashion critics around the world.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by SIMONE ROCHA (@simonerocha_)

Rocha, who is one of the penultimate designers at the helm of the recent 'coquette' and 'girlhood' fashion trends, is known for her 'gothic fairytale' approach to dressing, which includes plenty of lace, bows, ribbons and tulle. Her sartorial attitude, however, despite being inspired by austere gothic and Victorian silhouettes, is surprisingly louche, playful and unstuffy. It simultaneously contrasts and aligns with Gaultier’s brand of divine womanliness, though both couturiers love to blur the boundary between underwear and outerwear.

Rocha opened her couture showing last night in Paris with a series of structured gowns, embroidered, boned and laced with crinoline panniers and bustles in a nod to Gaultier's house codes. “His love of the breast and the hip and the female form — [I was] exploring that and harnessing it,” Rocha said.

Corsetry, another of Gaultier's signatures, was also at the fore of the collection. In a recent interview, Rocha said: "I love that these are the pieces that would historically restrict a woman but can be interpreted to almost free a woman. There’s a security to underpinnings that actually doesn’t restrict. I think that comes from the physicality of really connecting to these garments that harness a very strong femininity. It’s very powerful."

The surrealism and sex-appeal of Gaultier's fashion canon still shone through, as Rocha matured her style from girlhood to womanhood through the collection. Thorn-like conical bras, sculpted from silk; bondage harnesses embroidered with daisies; the collection was rich with motifs from both Rocha and Gaultier's back catalogue of savoire-faire.

Gaultier himself, backstage, couldn't help but tell the press: "It went beyond what I expected. She is very clever. It was so intelligent, as well as being so beautiful."

See some of our favourite looks from Jean Paul Gaultier by Simone Rocha Couture Spring 2024 show below:

Stay inspired, follow us.