Moncler turned fashion marketing on its head when it launched its latest project, Moncler Genius, in 2018. Officially ending its ready-to-wear lines, Gamme Bleu and Gamme Rouge, the brand instead hired eight prolific designers, each with a unique vision, to create Moncler capsule collections in their own style. Eschewing the traditional fashion calendar, the separate collections would roll out on a monthly basis.
Simone Rocha was one of the eight fashion darlings selected, introducing her enchanting designs to the utilitarian ski brand. After being approached by Moncler, Rocha jumped at the opportunity to work with CEO and creative director Remo Ruffini. “Mr. Ruffini has such an inspirational vision,” says Rocha. “It was a pleasure to be invited to work with experts in their field.”
For Spring/Summer 2019, Rocha chose a gardening theme, giving a twist on the classic Mackintosh and rubber boot combo by infusing it with the romantic, dreamy aesthetic she is known for. Having grown up in Ireland, Rocha is no stranger to rainy spring days, and her practical approach to weather is woven throughout the line. With colourful flowers affixed on waterproof vinyl, eyelet cutouts along rubber boots, and Rocha’s signature Victorian sleeves, femininity and utility are thematic throughout. “The balance between functionality and creativity is something that is always present in my collections,” explains Rocha. “It helps to balance the femininity, florals, and volume by having a functional shoe or bag.”
Through her work with Moncler, Rocha has been able to push the boundaries of her designs in ways unseen at her eponymous label. Her feminine sensibility to fashion has breathed new life into Moncler’s outerwear, exploring what the brand’s signature puffer jacket could look like by creating frilled edges and scalloped layers atop pretty sundresses. “It has been an amazing opportunity to develop and work my existing aesthetic into new fabrications and techniques,” reveals Rocha. “Fabrication and how it is manipulated and developed is a very important part of the design process for me.”
But perhaps her greatest feat of creative exploration with this collection came in the form of a 30-second video directed by up-and-coming photographer Tyler Mitchell. Shown alongside the collection, the film felt more like a trailer for the next big hit at Sundance, with its intriguing and disturbing narrative. The short depicts young women running through an English garden, digging a deep trench in a flower bed. Scattered shots jump-cut from cheerful dancing in the grass to girls lying unnaturally still under plastic. Suddenly the collection takes on an eerie new meaning.
“The video was a very collaborative process between me and Tyler,” says Rocha. “It was an amazing opportunity to create a fully immersive atmosphere for the collection.” This desire to push creative boundaries has made Rocha’s collaboration with Moncler an exciting one to watch. She looks forward to her continued development as her work with the brand progresses: “Collaboration is very important in many stages of the creative process—it helps to push ideas forward.”
Imagery courtesy of Moncler.