The Simone Rocha x H&M Presentation Was Straight Out of a Fairy Tale

Fashion

Since it was announced back in January, the Simone Rocha x H&M collaborative collection has become one of the most highly-anticipated drops of the fashion season. 

This month marked a year since pandemic-related safety precautions were put into place in most places across the globe, which means the room for innovation in terms of digital fashion presentations has grown exponentially and the teams behind Simone Rocha and H&M did not disappoint at all. In place of an in-person event, the collection presentation came in the form of a pop-up book with augmented reality video pictures of the looks, a beautiful and evocative nod to the fairy-tale imagery woven throughout the collection, which will available to the public on hm.com on March 11. (It’s also a callback to Rocha’s roots in publishing and printmaking with artists and image-makers, according to a press release about the collection.)

Each pop-up scene was created by British painter Faye Wei Wei, who also modeled in the AR experience as well as the photo campaign for the collection, the latter shot by Tyler Mitchell. The casting was fairly diverse as well, in terms of race and size, which thankfully now seems to be the industry standard to stay relevant in this consumer market. 

Faye Wei Wei, Tess McMillan, and Mouchette Bell.

Jess Maybury and Faye Wei Wei.

Apart from Faye, the AR experience starred Helena Bonham Carter, Kaia Gerber, Rowan Blanchard, Paloma Elsesser, Kelsey Lu, and Omari Douglas, among many others. “I think that this AR experience really encapsulates Simone’s world,” Omari said in a press release. “It feels playful, magical, and a little bit whimsical, as well. All these pearls everywhere – it feels like opening up a beautiful dressing up box, a special picture book, somewhere. It’s a really special way for her to share her universe with others.”

Paloma Elsesser and Rowan Blanchard.

Helena Bonham Carter.

Djenaba Davis-Eyo.

Laila and Nadia Gohar.

The Simone Rocha x H&M Garden Party (that’s what I’m calling it!) was a perfect way to draw the interest of a new generation of fashion consumers. It’s both advanced and thoughtful in its use of technology, and the element of surprise throughout the presentation can only be described as delightful. The paintings serving as a 3-D backdrop for the models to live in felt equally serious and artistic as they did theatrical and genuinely fun. 

“This year has required us all to think about things afresh and find new ways of working and congregating,” Simone Rocha said in a press release. “I am thrilled to be able to celebrate my collaboration with H&M in such an innovative way, using the best AR technology to bring such an amazing cast of figures right into people’s homes. I always wanted this collection to conjure excitement for dressing up, and for meeting with family, friends, and loved ones, and I hope this digital event speaks to that, providing a thought-provoking moment of art, beauty, celebration, and happiness.” 

Kelsey Lu.

William De Val Darby.

 Omari Douglas.

Nancy Andersen.

All images courtesy of the brand. 
Presentation photography: Sharna Osborne. Campaign photography: Tyler Mitchell.

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