Given the idyllic beachside paradise fashion phenomenon SPELL and the Gypsy Collective calls its operative home, it wouldn’t be unexpected for every advertising campaign to have a free-spirited Byron Bay backdrop.

But for successful sister act Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella (Spell) Pennefather, there was only ever one place in contention for framing this new collection: Morocco.

Their brand’s newest range, dropping this Wednesday and titled Lionheart, features the brightly-coloured custom bohemian prints that have been its signature since inception, but in fresh cuts and styles – including one particularly stunning drop-waist flapper-inspired dress that’s sure to be a hot seller.

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

Then again, given SPELL’s track record over past seasons – key items disappearing within hours is the norm and even celebrity fans needing to call in favours – combined with the fact Australia’s heading into peak beach-slash-festival season, Lionheart is likely to set new sell-out records. (The moral here? Get your skates on, Spell fans.)

Ahead of the collection’s drop later this week, GRAZIA spoke with SPELL co-founder Elizabeth (Lizzy) Abegg to accompany this online exclusive reveal of both collection and the campaign shots and video (featured throughout the interview) created to tell its story.

Can you explain thought behind the collection name Lionheart? The Lionheart. It was just a brave story, brave and beautiful. Kind of Wonder Woman meets Game of Thrones. I don’t know, this collection just feels strong.

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

Why Morocco? And what was the most memorable thing about shooting there? The collection just called for the dusty, paired back tones of the Moroccan landscape, right from the very first day Spelly [co-founder Isabella Pennefather] sat down to design it. We never actually considered shooting this collection anywhere but Marrakech. The most memorable thing about shooting there was the challenges that come with shooting in the Medina of Marrakech – it’s a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, bustling with donkeys, bikes and people. It required a lot of patience and also sensitivity and respect to the culture, which is why we had a local guide with us at all times.

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

How did you come to cast Mila as model and what was it about her that convinced you she was ideal as the muse for this campaign and collection? We met Mila through our photographer Brydie Mack, who’d coincidentally worked with her in Marrakech many years back. Her natural, earthy beauty went perfectly with the surrounds.

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

How is this collection different to previous ones? In the Zahara print we introduced new drop waisted silhouettes and cute, almost flapper style shift dresses, and we got really experimental with the shapes and embellishment. But conversely, it’s also probably the most classically ‘SPELL’ collection we’ve designed in a long while, looking back to our very first collection for inspiration. We wanted to push our own boundaries a bit – the Lionheart print is made up three separate placement screen prints, it took our team forever to perfect it because there was so much room for error with all the different screens.

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

What do you consider Lionheart’s hero piece(s)? Definitely, the Lionheart Maxi Skirt which has over 10 metres of fabric in it. And the Arabian Jewel pieces (due out later in the year) are all hand embellished. They are spectacular and were a true labour of love for our design team.

WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE PIECE? Probably the Arabian Jewel dress in cream and the Zahara Gown. Isabella loves the Moroccan Luxe blouse and dress. They’re sheer and creamy – it’s just such a luxe collection.

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL Lionheart collection 2017 Credit: Brydie Mack

SPELL has such a strong signature aesthetic so popular with its customer that’s consistent season after season. How do you balance keeping in touch with that, but also creating new looks and pieces that are completely fresh? Each collection we design what we love, and we push ourselves to places that are just out of our comfort zone. Often, we’ll look to an era, muse or old movie for inspiration, and other times we’ll look to a far-off exotic location (like with Morocco for Lionheart) but it’s always shifting and changing because our desires are always evolving. Just when we’ve been sitting in the ‘70s thinking – ‘damn, that’s so Spell!’ – we’ll go and watch Winona Ryder in Reality Bites and boom, we’re in the ‘90s. We obviously love to give our customers what they want, but I think it’s the unexpected that they’ve come to love.

The collection launches in store and online 20 September 2017.

EXCLUSIVE REVEAL: Spell ‘Lionheart’ campaign Video set in morocco

Film: Johnny Abegg
Muse: Mila De Wit-Burke
Styling: Brydie Mack and Lily Reed Jones
Hair and Makeup: Luciana Rose    
Production: Mel Carrero and Fred Fantun Productions
Assistant: Lahcen Mellal