Last night, Australian export extraordinaire Zimmermann launched its sprightly new Resort collection. Via a filmed runway (as has been du jour for many labels during COVID) the sister duo presented the latest chapter in their fanciful wanderlust story. A recipe dipped in vintage Australiana then rolled in international elegance. A delicious sartorial lamington.
For the past few years the Sydney-based label has shown via New York Fashion Week. A wildly successful retail story, Zimmermann has also expanded year after year, city after city, cornering the market for alluring vacation style. Their frocks, separates and accessories have come to be something of a benchmark for intrepid luxury – summertime events anywhere from Cannes to the Hamptons to Capri is never fully dressed without a Zimmermann appearance.
This season, sisters Nicky and Simone drew on bygone Australian holiday style for inspiration. “I wanted to create a collection that had a real sense of joy and would conjure up feelings and memories of a wonderful holiday – the anticipation, excitement, fun and laughter that we have all been missing so much!” Nicky told GRAZIA.
In an inspired move, they employed the works of acclaimed Australian artist James Northfield on a series of printed fabrics – vintage postcard designs with an iconic Australian twist. Wish-you-were-here-scapes that romance places like Lorne in Victoria and The Great Barrier Reef, in a graphic illustrative style synonymous with the 40s and 50s.
Aside from the trompe l’oeil of jumping barramundi and beachcomber tableaux, the collection draws on plenty of romantic whimsy for which Zimmermann has become famous. Embroidered laces, cinched shirt dresses and billowing sleeves that are this time decorated with cute raffia flower belts, jellyfish tasseling and sun hats slung with printed scarfs.
Visually, the show’s ombre sunset vignette carried the atmosphere – from the set to the pieces themselves. A couple of the collection’s showstoppers featured a return to this pretty cocktail – reds through oranges and into warm yellows. In addition, texture was resplendent with crochets, tassel trims, wave ruffling and silk floral appliqué, while prints of vintage florals brought home the nostalgia, many decorated by chintzy shell neckwear, seascape shoppers and matchy bucket hats.
You can instantly imagine this collection in the windows of stores not only here at home but within the walls of their far flung bricks-and-mortars, too. This northern summer we expect to see well-dressed women of the Côte d’Azur sifting the streets in garments shrined to destinations Down Under. Pieces reminiscing our iconography but still cut for brunches in their luxury locales.
The collection is a picturesque palette for a dream vacation – one we so deserve after more than a year of conservative frugality. At large, Zimmermann is an example of retail not only surviving but thriving in otherwise uncertain times. “The last year has posed all sorts of challenges for everyone. But we’ve found ways to keep moving forward and work on things that excite us. We recently opened in Cannes just in time for the summer and will open in Forte dei Marmi at the end of the month. I am fortunate to work as part of a talented and hardworking team with a “let’s get on with it” attitude.” said Nicky.
With so many seasons under their perfectly curated belts, the Zimmermann sisters have come to know not only how to dream up a look that can entice a purchase but to ignite instant fervour among a worldwide audience. “Finding new inspiration is just a part of the process from season to season and year to year and it changes all the time. I often just start with a mood for how I see a collection. Often, I draw inspiration from memories growing up in Australia and this season I just really wanted to create a collection that evoked thoughts of summer holidays and would make women feel optimistic about the times ahead.”
The show opened and closed with an appearance from treasured Australian supermodel Gemma Ward. Seeing Ward return to the runway offered an emotive homecoming similar to the retrospective influence the collection projected. Australia’s holidayisms provide rich decoration for this collection, pieces set for sunsets and oceans and romantic escapes no matter where they roam.