We’ve long loved designer Simone Rocha, and with good reason. Since she debuted her eponymous label back in 2010, her uniquely dark take on hyper femininity sees frothy tulle, chintzy florals and killer accessories (think of those cult pearl hair slides) storm the London Fashion Week schedule season after season.
Now, we can look further into Rocha’s creative process, vision and psyche, with the launch of issue 18 of A Magazine Curated By. Choosing a different guest curator for each publication, the magazine asked Rocha to produce a tome brimming with delectable words and stunning visuals that explore themes close to her heart.
Calling upon an "international cast of friends, family and creative collaborators", Rocha sought to "cross-pollinate" her disparate cultures – the designer has Irish and Chinese heritage – by spotlighting her favourite talents across literature, politics, art, fashion and photography. Contributors were asked to create projects that embodied the theme of "Ireland, Hong Kong, Family" – three significant aspects of Rocha’s life which are key to her work.
Bringing those close to her on the creative journey, the magazine features portraits of her mother and designer father, John, her daughter, and photographs shot by her partner Eoin McLoughlin. Among the diverse cast of contributors – Rocha’s chosen family – are acclaimed photographers Richard Mosse, Sarah Moon, Jackie Nickerson and Perry Ogden, while Petra Collins shot beautiful and candid photos of local Chinese women in New York for an editorial entitled "Braided Hair".
Thurstan Redding and Ben Toms captured a cast of Rocha’s nearest and dearest, including actor Chloë Sevigny, artist Hope Atherton, gallerists Maureen Paley and Lucy Chadwick, jeweller Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Luncheon magazine editor Frances Von Hofmannsthal, chef Laila Gohar and Vogue editor Lynn Yaeger. Stylist Robbie Spencer worked with Chinese photographer Leslie Zhang to shoot Sara Grace Wallerstedt in Hong Kong for the issue’s cover story.
Accompanying the magazine’s visual feasts are words from renowned international writers, notably Nigerian novelist and We Should All Be Feminists author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Contemporary artists Roni Horn, Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois all feature, while an interview with Ireland’s first female president, Mary Robinson, is also included.
Rocha’s curated tome will surely become a collector's item, joining the ranks of past issue collaborators such as Gucci’s maximalist maverick Alessandro Michele and Burberry’s new creative director, Riccardo Tisci. It's time to immerse yourself in Simone’s world.