Simone Rocha Is Jean Paul Gaultier’s Next Guest Couturier

Simone Rocha will be the next guest couturier at Jean Paul Gaultier.

A spokeswoman for the London-based designer confirmed she would pick up the design reins and show a one-off collection next January during Paris Couture Week.

Rocha posted on her Instagram account a bouquet of flowers with a note from Gaultier saying “Congratulations on your show. And see you for your next one … in Paris!!!”

The designers sketched a mini portrait of himself, dressed in a sailor-stripe top, and signed it “Jean Paul.”

With her dreamy, embellished and homespun silhouettes, Rocha has an esthetic distinct from Gaultier, most famous for his corsetry, tattoo prints, cone bras and smokings.

Rocha will be the fifth guest couturier after Rabanne’s Julien Dossena, Haider Ackerman, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Glenn Martens of Y/Project and Diesel, and Sacai’s Chitose Abe.

Following his retirement from the runway in 2020, Gaultier came up with the idea of the couture house inviting different designers to interpret his vast and eclectic oeuvre, achieved over a career spanning 50 years.

It’s quickly become a highlight of couture week — and fueled interest in Gaultier’s contributions to the fashion and pop culture.

Rocha, a Central Saint Martins graduate whose collection was immediately snapped up by Dover Street Market, is known for her romance, plays on volume, sheer layering and pearl embellishments.

Footwear has also been central to her collections, and her first big hit were brogues with Perspex heels.

This season, she wowed many of the buyers with her Crocs collaboration. Last season, she launched menswear, and in the past has collaborated with retailers including H&M, with which she worked in 2021.

Her romantic, sometimes dark, collections draw on her Irish and Chinese heritage. She’s often inspired by traditional songs, folk tales, myths and religion to inform her rich, multi-layered collections.

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