Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: John Rocha

John Rocha SS 2012 by Sarah Harman
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Sarah Harman

Harold Tillman, information pills Hilary Alexander and James Goldstein were just a few of the fashion bigwigs to take their prime seating positions in anticipation of the latest John Rocha collection. This was much the same scenario when I attended Rocha’s show last season and the high-flying professionals seem to have become a favoured crowd for Rocha’s front row. And it’s not surprising when, information pills needless to say, cure the designer is a long-standing, treasured feature of London Fashion Week who is widely celebrated and, most of all, respected.

John Rocha by Duilio Marconi 1

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi 2

Model Abbey Lee Kershaw opened the show and took to the runway in the opening outfit. Sporting an all-black voluminous textured dress, her entrance had photographers’ flashes illuminating the BFC tent. Kershaw, who was finally dubbed a supermodel this year by V magazine, had also been presented as a key feature in Rocha’s A/W 2011 show back in February, suggesting that Rocha has seemingly taken quite a shine to the 24 year-old Australian.

John Rocha SS 2012 LFW by Nicola Ellen 2
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Also just like last season, (Rocha loves his traditions!) the models were styled with wind-swept nymph hair and long braided plaits. Make-up was minimal, pure and simple with pale fresh-faced skin and nude colouring; an overall effortless ethereal look to compliment John Rocha’s signature design ethic.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Much to their delight, I’m sure, John Rocha was one designer that gave models’ skinny-pins a short break from killer heels. In their place were black platformed flat sandals, adding an updated feminine grunge look (minus all the pain!).

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

 Rocha SS 2012 LFW by Nicola Ellen 1
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

To name a few of the many more intricacies that went into Rocha’s elaborately crafted collection, ribbons were attached to hair and hung long next to plaits and all models sported either wire or feather headdresses. The problem with this idea was that because Abbey had opened the show in a wired headdress with black feathers, I was almost convinced that a major fashion disaster had occurred. Models were appearing with bare wire headdresses; no feathers. They looked absolutely bizarre so I naturally assumed that their feathers must have fallen off. What a nightmare, I thought. This wasn’t the case at all. It was purposeful. Just John Rocha keeping us on our toes, I suppose.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Just as was the case with his A/W11 collection, the colour palette was ultra-minimal with neutral tones dominating throughout. In fact, there were only three colours on the agenda; all rich-black ensembles led to cream creations which then led to head-to-toe stark white. With only black, cream and white, the focus shifted away from colour to texture instead. Texture was intricately and ornately crafted with Abbey’s opening black raffia dress, raw raffia that made up other ensembles, loops of black rubber and Lurex threads intertwined in the cream and white garments.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha Catwalk LFW by Nicola Ellen jpg
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Towering tall over John Rocha, Abbey Lee Kershaw once again led the Hong Kong born designer down the catwalk for another of his gracious finales. And, as has become tradition, he placed a kiss on Abbey‘s cheek at the feet of the snapping papz, and then John Rocha was off, thanking and bowing to the audience as he went.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi
All photography by Duilio Marconi

Categories ,Abbey Lee Kershaw, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,BFC Catwalk Space, ,BFC Showspace, ,BFC Tent, ,black, ,british fashion council, ,Cream, ,Debenhams Rocha, ,Duilio Marconi, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Harold Tillman, ,Headdresses, ,Hilary Alexander, ,Hong Kong, ,James Goldstein, ,John Rocha, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,LFW S/S12, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week S/S12, ,Lurex, ,Myth, ,Mythologies, ,Myths, ,Nicola Ellen, ,Nymphs, ,Raffia, ,Rubber, ,S/S 2012, ,Sarah Harman, ,Simone Rocha, ,Somerset House, ,Texture, ,Warriors, ,White

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ken dumps Barbie: Greenpeace’s Indonesia Deforestation Campaign

Barbie and Ken by Claire Byrne
Barbie and Ken by Claire Byrne

Ken dumped Barbie. Over trees and endangered tigers. Seriously. You probably already know this, web since the Greenpeace campaign that first revealed this earth-shattering piece of news has been all over the Internet in the last two weeks.

Barbie Crying by Claire Kearns
Barbie Crying by Claire Kearns.

But it’s time to wipe those tears off your keyboard. Not only has this traumatic event turned Ken into quite the eco-warrior and provided some great moments of Twitter comedy, seek but Amelia’s Magazine illustrators have responded, buy information pills providing the greatest collection of illustrations of a chainsaw-wielding Barbie you might ever see in one place.

Barbie with chainsaw by Claire Byrne
Barbie with chainsaw by Claire Byrne

Barbie was dumped by Ken after Greenpeace discovered that her maker, Mattel (and other toy companies like Disney), use packaging produced by a company called Asia Pulp and Paper, part of a huge conglomerate called Sinar Mas, accused of major deforestation in Indonesia. This deforestation is pushing critically endangered species like the Sumatran tiger ever further towards extinction.

Barbie Deforrestation by Anna Blachut
Barbie Deforrestation by Anna Blachut.

This particular Barbie campaign actually only scratches the surface of an investigation into how global toy manufacturers are complicit in Indonesia’s deforestation problem. Watch this brilliant graphicy animation video for an explanation of Greenpeace’s findings:

Toying With Deforestation
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It was a wise move to link the broad issue of deforestation in toy packaging and manufacture to the most famous toy (read ‘most mass produced gender-conditioning piece of plastic’) in the world. It even topped Creative Review’s ‘Nice Work’ list for advertising on the 10th of June. It’s a shame Ken hasn’t embraced his inner rebel enough to more openly blame Mattel rather than his ex over this, but I suppose that’s the job of Greenpeace. Ken is still finding his voice, as his heart wrenching twitter updates show, and I have a feeling he’s gradually unleashing the hitherto dormant revolutionary within. Equally shameful is the fact that the feminist within me finds images of Barbie wielding a tool instead of a handbag strangely satisfying. Let’s just hope that Barbie sees the light, joins Ken and decides to become an eco feminist or something asap.

barbie by karla-perez
Barbie by Karla Perez.

The fact that we live on a planet where rainforest destruction and species extinction is contributed to in even the smallest way by the packaging for a plastic toy is, quite frankly, weird. How did it come to this? Despite a huge movement to increase our awareness of the environmental impact of fashion and food, toys haven’t been touched upon with the same momentum. And yet toys are associated with our most formative years, so an awareness of what goes into their production is essential.

Barbie by Liz Rowland
Barbie by Liz Rowland.

One of my all-time favourite books is Mythologies by Roland Barthes. It was included in the Guardian’s recent 100 Greatest Non Fiction Books list last week, one of only three chosen for the culture category. It investigates the hidden political, economic and cultural ideologies behind everyday aspects of mass culture – from washing powder, to the burlesque dancer, to cars, wine, cheese and plastic.

Barbie logging truck by Claire Byrne
Barbie logging truck by Claire Byrne.

My favourite essay is the one on Toys, where Barthes explores our increasing obsession with plastic toys, as opposed to simple constructions and tools made of natural materials.

Barbie by Novemto Komo
Barbie by Novemto Komo.

The way I understand it, right from childhood we are taken further and further away from the process of making and creating. From day one we’re encouraged to be mindless consumers of complex finished products, emotionally and physically removed from how they were made, who made them and where the materials came from.

Barbie by Zofia Walczak
Barbie by Zofia Walczak.

This is something we could easily continue into adulthood, through the dreamy lifestyle mythologies in fashion and technology advertising. To me this Barbie campaign is an attention-grabbing antidote to this broader cultural issue, as well as a solid evidence-based environmental campaign.

You can check the Greenpeace UK blog for various ways to get involved, the latest of which involves rating and reviewing Barbie’s ‘dirty deforestation habits’ on Amazon (brilliant, do it!).

Categories ,Anna Blachut, ,Asia Pulp and Paper, ,Barbie, ,Claire Byrne, ,Claire Kearns, ,Creative Review, ,deforestation, ,Disney, ,Greenpeace, ,Guardian, ,Illegal, ,Indonesia, ,Karla Perez, ,Ken, ,Liz Rowland, ,Mattel, ,Mythologies, ,Novemto Komo, ,Plastic, ,rainforest, ,Roland Barthes, ,SInar Mas, ,Sumatran Tiger, ,Toys

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