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Simone Rocha Proves She's Built for This at Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived: Simone Rocha's haute couture debut.

The beloved Irish creative was revealed as the guest designer for Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring 2024 collection last September, which gave her ever-growing legion of fans months to not only get excited, but theorize about what her brand could do with access to haute couture resources. The anticipation and expectation were high — but Rocha rose to the challenge, in ways that are surprising and exciting.

It's that rare collection where every single look warrants conversation. I'd find myself starting and stopping the livestream every time a model emerged or the camera zoomed in on the details, admiring the callbacks to Rocha's own collections, the references to Gaultier, the new ideas being put forth and the meticulous execution. That tells me it'll be one we come back to, as an example of not only the breadth of Rocha's imagination and talent, but of what a successful meeting-of-the-minds can look like.

Especially with this collaborator model that Jean Paul Gaultier has introduced for haute couture, each show can feel like a game of fashion "I Spy," trying to clock all the motifs culled from the archives and reinterpretations of iconic pieces. Rocha reinterprets Jean Paul Gaultier's corsetry with lacing elements that are tied a little more loosely, with ribbons left long and hanging loose. There are nautical elements, like a rhinestone shell over the breast (a reference to the beaded cup details of Simone Rocha ready-to-wear past), sailor hats dotted with red rhinestone florals (another Simone Rocha recognizable motif) and the stripes of a marinière crafted out of ribbons. Of course, the cone bra makes an appearance — in multiple forms: jutting out of a black tuxedo jacket and curving upwards like devil horns, in a peach silk dress with laced panels on either side.

The Simone Rocha superfan will recognize the brand's unmistakable design language anywhere. But there's a more pronounced hardness and edge to this collection, compared to the ready-to-wear. Though no one gets the hearts of TikTok coquettes racing quite like Simone Rocha, the brand is far from superficial in its femininity; the subversiveness is just much more subtle. It comes to the surface for Jean Paul Gaultier, maybe as a way of honoring the house's unabashedly provocative history: the slimmer silhouettes, the belts wrapped around the torso of a white gown that opens up into a full skirt, the lacing.

Working with an haute couture atelier, Simone Rocha is also able to push ideas she's worked with in the past — such as volume, overlays and different embellishments — even further, and present her interpretation of more "traditional" gowns. ("Traditional" in quotes, because what she does is too interesting to really be classified as such.) What's really powerful is seeing the ways someone who's already arguably at the top of their game face a challenge, and come out on the other side with something that feels new and that pushes their work forward.

See the full Simone Rocha for Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024 collection below.

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

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