Simone Rocha’s Spring/Summer 2016 ready-to-wear collection focused on a juxtaposition between airy femininity and Japanese bondage. Delicate pink dresses with intersecting macrame straps, dominated the runway. The straps — the designer’s homage to Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki’s take on bondage — portrayed bondage’s ability to be beautiful rather than restating stereotypes of restriction and kink. They paired surprisingly well with the contrasting full skirts, puff sleeves and breezy textiles. The tea-length dresses with sheer woven tops would fit in perfectly at Sunday brunch, even with the bisecting black straps. Other references to Japan showed through in the more structured, weightier dresses that featured origami-like bows and folds and in the bamboo forest prints. Although the Far East has influenced many collections in recent years, Rocha set hers apart with careful understatement of the influences. She left out obvious traditional aspects of Japanese culture — like kimonos, embroidery, and cherry blossom silks — and heavily incorporated her modern viewpoint.
This look highlights Rocha’s Japanese inspiration with the abstract, almost floral print skirt and the single white macrame strap. Although the Japanese influences are subtle at first glance, the girlishness is overt from the start. The woven lattice top with tied bows at the hem and full, tea-length skirt add texture while continuing to emphasize the ensemble’s femininity. Light pink, laced jelly sandals also add a youthful touch.
To recreate Rocha’s runway version for an everyday look on a student budget, search for simple pieces which convey the essence of the original look. Even though Rocha’s designs feature unconventional textiles and details, the basic idea of the pieces can still effectively translate in a comparable, significantly more affordable look. A lattice-textured, white sleeveless top is available on etsy.com for $28, and a sheer tank top with a diamond-shaped burnout print is on zulily.com for $30. For the midi skirt, a pink abstract daisy print option is $45 from chicwish.com. A more literal floral print version that includes a bow at the waist is just $36 from newlook.com. Pale pink flat jelly sandals are available for $30 on tillys.com or a gladiator style with laces are $11 from gojane.com. Finish the look with some matching pink crystal earrings. A teardrop pair are $12 from accessorize.com, and an organic cut pair are $11 from kohls.com. With these accessible pieces, you can put together a unique take on a high fashion look, embracing an airy femininity for your next brunch or day out shopping with friends.
Sophie Fay Shaw is the High Fashion, College Wallet columnist. Email her at email@example.com.