If you still don’t know Lee Mathews, the Sydney-based designer making some of the most summer-perfect clothes out there, here’s a catch-up on her gorgeous resort 2021 collection. Birdwatching has become the unofficial hobby of lockdown era. Thanks to reduced air traffic, the trees outside of Mathews’s studio have become wildly populated with birds. There are no literal avians in her spring collection though – instead, the creative director followed their path to a sense of freedom, joy, and movement. Mathews’s structured dresses have even fuller skirts and poufier sleeves as a result. Pants have added legroom, too, from a jodhpur-like cargo pant to silky, wide-leg options. The danceability of these clothes was put to the test in a performance choreographed by Eliza Cooper and filmed by Martyn Thompson. Thompson, a photographer based in New York, is a longtime friend of Mathews’s. “The experience reconnected me with people I’ve known for a long time,” said Mathews of isolating in Sydney, “and something new is coming from it.” That willingness to collaborate and try something new is the best possible outcome of a world isolated and apart. “Having to collaborate outside your usual sphere to make things that resonate more is what will propel fashion forward,” Mathews told Vogue over a Zoom call. Brands much larger than hers should take note.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Kym Ellery safely bases her collections on her signatures. Wide flares, ruffle tops, voluminous maxi-dresses and minimal lines are as usually on fleek for her Resort 2016, which brings on the delicate theme of goths – the black chokers look kind of bad-girl with these over-sized zipped dresses. You could also pick up a witchy vibe in the collection’s long black dresses, like the body-hugging one in sheer mesh. Ellery plays it cool, but in a very gentle way.
A bit Meadham Kirchhoff, a bit Schiaparelli – the Aussie brand, Romance Was Born took us to a wonder-land of diversity and nature. But in their signature, splendour style. That’s why their collection for summer is called “Coo-ee Couture”. Fearless design duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales didn’t disappoint. The eye-catchy collection is the result of Romance Was Born’s collaboration with artist, fashion designer and fellow free spirit Linda Jackson, who hand-painted each garment for the show. The intense jewel-toned dresses, mixed prints – including a striking beaded “Waratah “design – bold texture and glossy black plummage were accessorised by bright ceramic jewellery from the Australian label, Dinosaur Designs. If people in Australia are so easy-going with coo-coo fashion, then I love it!
The Aussie girl, Kym Ellery, does sculptural beauty this time in Paris. The collection is so, so breath-taking. It has so much movement, flair, boldness… the materials used are so gorgeous, that the amazing over-sized ribbons look super effortless and wearable. Ellery always masters best the fun with fabrics- in their Paris-based studio, the real magic happens, making their collection better and better each season. Ellery had two main emphases: creating a lean, attenuated silhouette, and elaborating it with rich textures. The opening look established the theme: a pair of extra-long tweed trousers topped with a mesh undershirt and matching tweed singlet. The singlet had a buoyant flare, but this was a more measured take on the sculptural volumes Ellery has explored in the past. The tailoring was a highlight—lots of great pants—and the shirting, too, done in heavy-duty cottons with a touch of sheen. Ellery also scored with her long, almost monastic tank dresses, which kicked out under the hip. Serene but with a vibrant atmosphere in the air.