09/14/2013 09:54 EDT | Updated 11/14/2013 05:12 EST

John Rocha in cheerful, romantic mood for next spring and summer, despite world's woes

LONDON - Here's John Rocha's response to a world full of woes: Gorgeous, romantic dresses, decorated with roses and lovingly crafted by hand.

With colours he calls "broken whites" and with ivory and black, the veteran Dublin-based designer set a whimsical mood at his London Fashion Week show Saturday. The dresses were long and flowing, the tops often sheer or semi-sheer, and the outfits topped with matching, asymmetrical long-brimmed hats.

The designer offset his monochromatic look with bursts of floral colour, including scarlet, fuchsia, lemon, violet and indigo.

The mood was a bit "Midsummer Night's Dream," defying a persistent London drizzle and reminding fashionistas that spring will come, eventually.

"I want romance, I want people to be happy in their relationships," Rocha said as stylists put finishing touches on models' outfits in the chaotic moments before the show opened with a stunning white dress decorated with red roses.

Rocha's show came on the second day of London Fashion Week, which will feature displays from Burberry, Tom Ford, Christopher Kane and others.

The designer said his preference for silk and other non-synthetic fibers came from a desire to celebrate the natural world.

"I've been working with silk for 35 years, there are too many synthetics being used," Rocha said, smoothing his long, greying black hair, which falls far below his shoulders. "I think natural fibers look better over time. The more you wear them, they look even better."

The show had an unusual stylistic unity, with all the dresses of the same full length and all showing a similar playful mood. Some of the black outfits were less successful — the oversized hats looked a bit forbidding — but the black and gold outfits with cutouts were impressive.