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Simone Rocha is fascinating. 

Strong brand identity, strong feminine personality, strong business skills. And in contrast, such a feminine and soft product.

She is not French, even if her name sounds so. But her dresses are deeply inspired by the French historical wardrobe. Rewatch “Marie-Antoinette” and you will see by yourself. 

Look at this dress from her 2021 Spring/Summer collection, currently sold on ModaOperandi for 2400 dollars. There was only one left at the moment when this post was published. 

Simone Rocha White and Blue dress

There will be a lot of dresses inspired by Simone Rocha on the street this summer. They are very easy to wear, they suit to all ages, all types of the body and all sizes.

Now let’s see a little bit how they are made.

  1. She uses very beautiful fabric: lace, beautiful thick cotton poplin, embroidered fabric and of course many kind of fantastic brocade.
  2. There are a lot of couture&handmade elements, requiring accuracy and time.

And her “star” technique is Gathered technique, usually used on gathered skirts. Simone Rocha uses this technique to attach the elements of her dresses together, as well as on the sleeves, on the cuffs, and on the flounces, which are not biais flounces but gathered flounces.

Look at this beautiful deep blue brocade dress currently sold at Shopbop.

Simone Rocha Bright Blue Dress

This dress is a wonderful example of how you can sew elements of the garment using gathered technique literally everywhere. In this dress, ALL the big parts are assembled using it:

  1. The asymmetrical skirt detail is attached to the dress using the gathered technique.
  2. Big flared sleeves are made of two pieces: the top part is sewn in the armscye and the low part is attached using the gathered technique.
  3. And most importantly, the dress itself is attached to the top part, on the back under the button band and on the front, using (again) the gathered technique.

Closer look:

Simone Rocha blue dress detail

Another dress, this time with the fitted waist, where gathered technique is used for the beautiful armscye work. This dress is currently sold on MatchesFashion:


Simone Rocha Cream Brocade Dress Gathered Sleeves

Here, the sleeves are stars of the gathered technique. They are made of 3 parts, and the part in the middle is attached to the cuffs and to the top small part of the sleeve, that creates a flat effect (otherwise, sleeves would be too wide and they will add unnecessary volume to the arms. On the closer photo, you can see the delicate work on these sleeves. 

Simone Rocha Gathered Sleeves Cream Dress Detail

And to show you how gathered technique was used traditionally, here are some archive photos as well as the gathered skirt moulage made by Aurélie Vibet, the teacher of the Skirts Draping Course.

French Gathered Skirt Work

On this draping mockup, the gathers are evenly distributed through all the waist, but we can also choose to leave flat some of the length. 

Like on this floral dress from Simone Rocha, found on MatchesFashion, where the gathered sleeve is somewhere flat and somewhere gathered, to reduce the whole volume and add some easiness.  

Simone Rocha Black floral dress

And a closer look of the gathered sleeve: 

Simone Rocha Black Floral Dress detail

You certainly know about Simone Rocha’s collaboration with H&M, available in shops from March 2021.

But of course you will not find there all this beautiful and expensive brocade fabric and handmade elements like the REAL gathered technique.

Now, if you want something beautiful and exceptional but don’t want to spend 600-2,500 dollars on Simone Rocha’s garments, you have this solution. You buy a beautiful brocade fabric which is still not very expensive comparing to her dresses – you don’t need a lot of fabric for a knee-high dress, –  and learn the Essential Dress techniques and Skirts: straight, wrap, pleated, gathered techniques with Madame Aurélie Vibet who teaches draping at French Institute of Fashion (IFM) and who has worked 10 years as a highest skilled master at Christian Dior Haute Couture.  And make dresses for yourself, your friends, your collegues and even your boss 🤓.

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