Style | Diary of a Somebody

John Rocha

The Dublin-based fashion designer hatches a weekend plan

John Rocha

August 09 2011
John Rocha

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Odette and I just got back from a weekend in Portugal. We went to visit our friends Louise and Charlie O’Loughlin for our godson Charlie’s 12th birthday (we bought him a camera; he is definitely the next Avedon). Now I am back to work in our studio in Dublin, preparing for our first stylist meeting of the season for my forthcoming show on Saturday September 17 at London Fashion Week.

In the meantime, Madame Joyce Ma and her sister Bonnie have come to Dublin to visit for a few days from Hong Kong. It is Bonnie’s first visit and they are really impressed with the Francis Bacon studio at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery. We celebrated her birthday Sunday with a wonderful dinner at Patrick Guilbauld’s at the Merrion Hotel.

Next morning, bright and early, our stylist Karl Plewka arrives in from London. Karl enters the studio all tanned, slim and fit; best of all, he is very enthusiastic about the new spring/summer ’12 collection and he loves my Warrior Women. I am determined that each outfit will be individually handcrafted using the most exciting techniques and handwork I can come up with; I hope I have something very special up my sleeve… We discuss models, hair and make-up. All our accessories are in work – shoes, bags and elaborate headdresses. It’s a very long but successful day.

I then had a call from Charlie White at Roxtons about my fishing trip to British Columbia. I am off straight after London Fashion Week; fishing for steelhead with just the brown bears for company – I can’t wait.

At dinner we talk about the coming weekend. Odette and I plan to visit Clonmacnoise, a monastic site on the banks of the river Shannon dating back to the 6th century. This place is my inspiration for an art installation I am working on using 28,000 pieces of Waterford crystal at Château la Coste in Aix-en-Provence. The site has the most wonderful early Celtic crosses. These have influenced my work for years – indeed, since I came to Ireland more than 30 years ago.

Then on that Sunday evening I plan to go to Sligo with my son Max and our good friend Austin Kenny for some dry-fly trout fishing. The rod hasn’t been out for a full eight weeks; hope we catch something.

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