The final piece was a truly mind-blowing 20 minutes full of trippy lights, beautiful choreography, and even an interactive hologram (take that, Coachella!). We grabbed some time with Rocha, the star of the show, to find out how she prepped for her big performance — and, of course, chat about Fashion Week. Read on to hear her musings on attending shows, traveling, and even giving good 'gram.
What went into this performance? What was the preparation like?
"When I was approached by the team from Milk and Lexus, they told me they were doing this amazing project where they were combining fashion and art and tech all together, and I was very excited to be a part of it. And, it's exactly what I wanted it to be — the chance to be one of the first to incorporate dance with this hologram was an epic moment for me in my career. All of us, we rehearsed for three days. The girls have actually been rehearsing with the set for two days, and I just got here from Greece yesterday so I jumped right in."
Do you have a dance background?
"I have an Irish dance background, but that is not quite the same as what I was doing. I'm very good at faking it — sometimes in modeling, you have to play a part where you don't even know what it entails. So, with this project, they wanted me to be a contemporary modern dancer, so I said, 'Yes, I'll do it, if you want me to.'"
We all love your new haircut! What was your inspiration for it?
"For one, it just couldn't grow anymore, so if you chop it off it will grow. It was damaged, so I really needed to do it for that reason. And, also, to just change it up — I've had long hair, and it kind of got boring, and once I had the idea, it stuck in my mind. I'd been trying to do it for six months, so I just finally did it."
Did you have that classic moment of panic in the chair before they cut it?
"Well, James, my husband actually got to make the first cut. I thought it would be funny. But, once that happened, it was no turning back. But, I haven't regretted it yet. I think it's because, for me, I wear so many wigs at work, so I've seen myself with so many different cuts, that it really didn't make me that nervous."
You just returned from Greece, where you took over the CFDA's Instagram feed beautifully. What is your secret to Instagram success?
"Well, people that take photos in the Instagram app…just don't. Take a ton of photos first of all, and from there, pick which ones you like the best, and you filter them in another app. I have Camera+, but really go into the lighting, and who's in the background, or whatever you need to do to make that look beautiful. And then I always ask, could it be in a magazine? If so, it's on its way to Instagram. But, don't just take the photos for the sake of photos — people are way more creative on Instagram now that the stakes are high."
You've traveled all over the world — where is your favorite place?
"I would have to say Greece is up there on my list. I've been on a safari in Botswana, which is something that I would love to do again. That was my epic moment in life, but Greece was pretty up there, too."
What is your Fashion Week like this year?
"Well, this performance was the start of it, so it was the best kickoff. I don't think there'll be anything better, but I'll go watch some shows and then, hopefully, I'll be in Zac Posen. I've never missed a season, ever, since the first season, so it's always on my list."
What do you do to make it through Fashion Week?
"It used to be crazy, where I did six shows a day, but that isn't the case for me anymore. Now, I just go to the shows I really like, with the people that I love to hang around. I really just enjoy it now more than ever, whereas before it was just work, now it's work and play."
You have an amazingly confident attitude that always comes across in interviews. How do you channel that?
"I just don't think people should fake it. When people are trying to be someone else it's never going to come off as original or new, you'll be confident when you're yourself. You're not playing a role, so I just try and answer truthfully. If there's something I want to keep to myself I just pass on the answer — there's nothing that I hide, I'm an open book. Being honest is the biggest thing you can do, and people seem to be excited about that. It's refreshing to people when someone answers honestly."