Written by Luke Cloherty
Monaco and glamour are symbiotic, however, the necessity and penchant for Chanel, Dior, Gucci and the like is somewhat passe. So here at Made in Monaco, we are searching the world for the best emerging designers who push forward new ideas, creating truly one-off garments that are perfect for your next big gala event.
One such designer is Federica Rocchi, a London-based designer whose haute-couture, one-off art pieces reflect paintings drawn by her mother. As an Italian who lives in London via Sri Lanka, Federica has a unique approach with esoteric landscape inflections representing the mood of the paintings she reflects in her dresses. These paintings, she says, are “made by my mother’s moods. The red piece (dress and painting pictured) was made while she was in an angry period while the blue piece (dress and painting pictured) was painted during one of her calmer periods”.
Clearly, her mother has been a source of some great inspiration to her and she notes that she “got that artistic gene from her”. She went on to say “I would like to make my mother’s art known in London and these dresses are my way of doing this. I’m always inspired by art as I grew up in it”.
Beyond her maternal catalyst, though, Federica was also stirred by a man under whom she interned (and still works sporadically with) called Ziad Ghanem. Her dresses have been made half by machine and half by hand, with the details being completely constructed from methods she learned from Ghanem. She points out that “Ziad taught me how to layer screen printing, so I took this and decided that the detail on my dresses would be 3D”. This gives the dresses a distinctive, almost bulbous look that brings her mother’s paintings to life.
Rocchi loves London and always wanted to work in the capital, saying “my favourite designers were often working in London. I simply looked up where they went to University and decided that was where I would go to study”. As such this led her to London College of Fashion and then University of the Arts London, while she interned with Ghanem, and she has not looked back since coming here.
“My father makes mass-production stuff and wants me to work with him, so I have to choose between that and staying here and finding work. I’m targeting the Middle East market and that’s why I’m combining fine art with fashion as they love both there, particularly in Qatar” says Rocchi, whose future looks extremely promising should she choose to stay here and sell to the – let’s face it – huge contingency of wealthy Arabs we have here in London (particularly in SW postcodes).
Full collection can be found at http://showtime.arts.ac.uk/federicarocchi