There are a few noticeable shifts in designers’ showcases this year, most circling around the sustainable future of this once fast-paced, horribly wasteful industry. It was not so long ago that fashion was fuelled on fast turnover, cheap fabrics and quick-smart trend, but with the ecological impact reports revealed, labels have had to look inward. They’ve had to slow down, pause and re-consider everything.
But bassike has always been mindful. Of quality control, of their super cuts, of supreme fabrics and of their environmental footprint. And, at today’s Resort ’22 show, they implored a literal take on these factors. Pause, the collection’s name, was hosted at a vacant, industrial studio in Sydney’s Alexandria. The paired back setting had guests sitting sensibly distant as a meditative voice and hypnotising multimedia appeared asking attendees repeatedly to “turn off your device”. For a crowd surgically attached to their screens, it was a little surprising to realise this was not, in fact, hyperbole but, rather, a direction. The host had even included a bassike-labeled phone bag on everyone’s seat.
Once the crowd (mostly) cooperated, the room went pitch black and fell completely silent. For two whole minutes there was no screen glare, no murmurs, no chairs shifting, no selfie posing. Such stillness is unorthodox in our modern lives so it was disappointing to recognise your immediate reaction was to flick your phone for comfort. But, as the lights slowly came up, screens kicked back into ignition, ready to snap bassike’s new-season offering.
“The collection is called ‘Pause.’ It’s about finding pause and noticing the space in between the noise. We tried to create that with the show, so when guests arrive they had to pause, sit and be with themselves. We wanted to give them a time to think, feel and have a sense of anticipation and curiosity. I really wanted people to notice all of their senses deeply throughout the presentation,” said bassike Creative Director, Deborah Sams.
With serenity in mind, Sams and co-creative director Mary Lou Ryan delivered a thoughtful collection that entertained what we’ve come to love about bassike – chic, clever wearables. While it began with a capsule of earthen marbling printed on breezy dresses and halter tops, its progression into its seasonal menu of inky kaleidoscopes was * chef’s kiss *. The addition of gathered sleeves and leather cummerbunds on some offered a new silhouette – one that encouraged casual drop-waists and floaty feminine volume.
And of course their tailoring by way of trench coats, shirting and paper-bag skirts and pants remained classically covetable. This time in options of ivory whites, muted emeralds and sandy mustards they covered ensembles that included bias skirts, shorts-and-shirts sets and even leather shell tees with matching leather Bermudas. In addition to apparel, bassike footwear is garnering traction as an imperative summer luxury. Ropey leather sandals that protest to be all-encompassingly wearable. It’s this idea of whole-wardrobing and life-long anti-trend that is symbiotic to bassike’s sustainability ethos. “75% of the garments presented in this collection are made from certified organic or sustainable fabrics, with over 60% also produced in a facility powered by renewable energy. Since inception, we have championed local industry and we are proud to say that 95% of the garments in Resort are made here in Australia.” says Sams.
“I think everyone is really starting to understand the environmental impact on the climate. We’ve been committed to responsible business practices since we founded bassike in 2006. We are continually looking at all areas of our business to ensure we make responsible choices and do better within all facets. We’ve recently made the decision to take the organisation carbon neutral and when activating events at such a scale, it sits within our ethos to look to reduce and offset the carbon footprint,” said Co-Founder and Director of Supply Chain and Sustainability, Mary Lou Ryan.
It’s certain that bassike devotees, like myself, will devour this collection with all the enthusiasm of any collection before it. And this season, I’m increasingly enamoured by their expert dye-style. Blues and reds smattered across crispy poplin cottons that, at the hands of anyone else, could result in much less cool precision. Then, styled back with a simple trench vest, it forms an ensemble you know you’d wear all summer. A look malleable to any outing, any destination and every body. Investing in such high quality wearability is a perfect way to reduce consumption and practice conscious shopping. If only I could practice switching off my damn phone, too.