Harley Weir Captures Simone Rocha’s “Slightly Perverse” New Collection

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Simone Rocha Autumn/Winter 2019 book Harley Weir Robbie Spen
Simone Rocha Autumn/Winter 2019 bookPhotography by Harley Weir, Styling by Robbie Spencer; Courtesy of Simone Rocha

Featuring Chloë Sevigny, Lily Cole and Jess Maybury, a new book from Simone Rocha documents the designer’s Miroslav Tichý-inspired Autumn/Winter 2019 collection

Simone Rocha’s Spring/Summer 2014 show had a perversity and sexuality to it that I really loved. I think that’s something you still see in her collections now – especially last night’s show – and it’s what I’m drawn to; the darker edge to her work.”

That’s Dazed’s editor-in-chief Isabella Burley talking, explaining why she loves Simone Rocha’s clothes, in an interview with AnOther conducted earlier this year. Burley isn’t alone – Rocha’s brand has attracted a cult following for this “darker edge” and the sheer beauty of her designs.

Rocha has just released a new book; her fifth self-published title created in collaboration with an artist and photographer, which, this time, was Harley Weir. Styled by Dazed’s creative director Robbie Spencer and collaged together by art director Christopher Simmonds, the book is, as Rocha introduces it, “portraits of the female gaze, investigating femininity, security and privacy”.

“I have always adored [Weir’s] work, her photos and film, how she has such a strong, provocative yet sensitive female gaze,” the designer tells us. “So we had a connection on the original collection inspiration.”

This inspiration took the form of the work of Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý who, over the course of his lifetime, took over 100,000 images using cameras made out of cardboard tubes, underpant elastic and beer bottle tops. The images that interested Rocha were his mysterious, ethereal photographs of unsuspecting women.

“The collection was looking at Tichý’s photos of unknowing women and that gaze, that intimacy – which also led to Michael Powell’s body of work with Peeping Tom and The Red Shoes,” Rocha explains. “So slightly perverse... And finally the intimacy of the female artist Louise Bourgeois and her fabric works which integrated her own clothes into the work.”

When it came to shooting this collection, Rocha cast a range of models and muses who embody her ideal: Lily Cole, Chloë Sevigny (who appears on the cover of the A/W19 issue of Dazed wearing Simone Rocha, also photographed by Weir and styled by Spencer), Jess Maybury, Jeny Howorth, Evangeline Ling, Tess McMillan, Xie Chaoyu, and Yuki Beniya

A diverse group of women, they are united by certain qualities that are prized by Rocha: “They are all females with strong characters and very much a sense of self and otherworldliness, who I feel also have a little magic within them,” the designer says. Look through this book and you’ll see just what she means...

The book is printed in a limited run of 1,000 worldwide and are available for free at Dover Street Market London and will also be available at Simone Rocha stores worldwide – 93 Mount Street, London; 71 Wooster Street, New York; 10 Ice House Street, Hong Kong.