Oct 2, 2013

Fall Girl: Simone Rocha

I had lunch with my husband's 95-year-old grandmother a few weekends ago. I thought I was appropriately dressed in a long, flowy skirt with flat sandals, a plain tee, and loose, styled-to-look-unstyled hair, but Faye gave me a quick up and down audit from lively brown eyes (accentuated with a line of dark eyeliner about a half-inch below her bottom lashes), and told me I looked like a Rebbetzin – a Rabbi's wife. Oy Vey! I was going for  Bohemian.  

Faye was wearing a mint-green knee-length dress over a patterned silk blouse in shades of sea greens and blues, accessorized with heeled green sandals, a coordinating handbag, and layers of necklaces, bracelets, and rings. It was like she couldn't decide between all her favorite things, so she didn't. Her silver mantle of hair was perfectly groomed, perfectly motionless, styled-to-look-styled. 

When I sat down to tell my grandmother about the Rebbetzin "compliment" in a letter, I was reminded that Faye and Bridie come from such different worlds: where Faye is known for her high heels and piles of jewelry, Bridie is known for her headscarves and sturdy support stockings. My grandmother favors plain cardigans (with roomy sleeves for tissues), cream blouses, Queen-like skirt-and-blazer action for fancy affairs, and nun-like pencil skirts for everyday. Her wardrobe is a sensible wood one taking up little space in her bedroom (and probably stocked with wool blankets and a shoebox of cash for birthday cards); Faye's wall-length mirrored closets line several rooms and are overflowing with a lifetime of furs, leathers, and elegant fashions. 

I imagine Irish designer Simone Rocha and I would have a blast sharing polar-opposite-granny stories and matching-handbag-and-shoe notes over afternoon tea (while she forces her fashions on me). See, Rocha's AW2013 collection—Respect Your Elders—was inspired by the designer's grandmothers, Margaret Gleeson on the Irish side and Cecelia Rocha on the Chinese side. 
While I might have created a fur housecoat with leopard-print support stockings to represent the two grannies in my life, Simone Rocha created a ladylike-with-an-edge collection, stocked with pink neoprene princess coats, wide cropped trousers, and prim skirt suits. The use of neoprene, leopard-spotted faux fur, shiny patent leather, and tinsel tweeds kept the collection young and hip. Instead of going full-on Granny, Simone stayed on the right, cool side of inspired to create a collection that is just that—inspired.

Her Grannies must be so proud. If my elegant elders were proud of me, and wanted to one-up each other from their opposite sides of the Atlantic, they'd stock my wardrobe with Rocha's gorgeous styles in black and cream. They might even throw in a few Pepto-Bismol pink surprises, too ... just so I have something to wear to Bingo.

ps. If a fashionista was to accidentally stumble on this blog she'd no doubt say I'm an undedicated follower of fashion, thinking about Fall fashions now when designers have already shown their Spring/Summer 2014 looks. Thing is, I refuse to get caught up in the ridiculous fashion season-ahead machine. It's just so stupid. I feel Fall in Fall, not in Spring! Kiss it fashionista.

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