It was empathy that made Simone Rocha’s show on Sunday into a total wow. Rocha already had it all figured out: those big ruffled delights—wedding cake dresses which are pretty and occasionally gorgeous, always in a slightly strange way—have a dedicated fan base. But this season, she seemed to urgently take the magical drawbridge less traveled, because her clothes took on a new sophisticated glamour, polish, and emotional intensity.
The show was pink and ruffly and filled with veils, but the slightly-more-structured silhouettes, plus the fine plainness of the fabrics and the carefully odd use of appliques and patterns, turned this into a strange brew of feminine majesty. (The collection was also her menswear debut, though to my eye it seemed as though Rocha is expanding her sizing and inviting already curious men more formally to the party.)
It felt like an insistent statement that the frothy, the ethereal, the delicate, and the fragile are just as interesting (and maybe even more so) than the sturdy, the timeless, and the monumental. And maybe we all need to listen more to that side of ourselves.