NEWS — 11 December 2013

By Madeline O’Connor

THE daughter of one of Ireland’s most famous designers, John Rocha has won a prestigious award for her own design collections at this year’s British Fashion Awards.

Last week’s awards at the London Coliseum saw Simone, who has called the capital home for the past five years, receive recognition as Emerging Womenswear Designer of the year, which she picked up in a pink pleated dress and matching coat.

Proud father John said at the awards after-party that he was thrilled for his daughter, as a father and fellow designer, adding that he hoped she could handle the pressure: “Because as a designer you are only as good as your last collection. I want her to do the best she can. But we come from Ireland, so things don’t go to your head that often.”

London is renowned as the fashion capital of ideas and innovation and Simone, as one of its emerging stars, is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets at London Fashion Week – following in her famous father’s footsteps.

But Simone was not the only Irish talent to win big on the night, where guests included Samantha Cameron, Donatella Versace, Kate Moss, Harry Styles, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tinie Tempah.

Young Derry native JW Anderson, who has described his signature style as “things that can be borrowed from a man to a woman and from a woman to a man” won the New Establishment Award, having taken the Best Emerging Talent gong the previous year.

The evening saw 16 awards presented to leading figures in fashion. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall, and was attended by industry members, models, celebrities and, for the first time this year, members of the public.

Simone is currently writing a blog for www.elleuk.com.

For more on the awards, see www.britishfashionawards.com.

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