« When light is reflected on black, it transforms and transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own », said once Pierre Soulages. Following the painter’s example, John Rocha explores every way to magnify the beauty of black and express all its nuances. The palette of this Autumn Winter 2011-2012 collection is all about black, only lit sometimes by hues of nude and cream.
The most interesting thing about basing your work on one colour, or non-colour, as some would describe it, is that it allows a proper exploration of texture and structure, which John Rocha is known to be fascinated about. Pressed wools, tumbles and loops of yarns, hand appliquéd lace, leather, mohair panels, faux fur details, hand crochet pieces, black has rarely been celebrated on so many different textures at the same time. The result is stunning, and paradoxically, all about light.
John Rocha also took the opportunity to work on the form, and really played with volumes, from the puffed capes, dresses and even transparent harem pants, to the body tight hand crochet pieces combined with asymmetric and voluminous skirts.
The collection was accessorised with dramatic headpieces mostly made of black wool, reminding – as mentioned by the designer as inspiration for the collection – the barren landscapes of Iceland. I also loved the hairstyles, with dishevelled plaits, which gave a perfect finish to the outfits.