Once upon a time the brand founded by sisters Georgie and Lizzie Renkhert sat on the luxury bohemian clothing spectrum somewhere in the middle of high-budget Zimmermann and Byron Bay cult label SPELL and the Gypsy.
However, today’s show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia practically put the label in a whole new aesthetic category. Without drawing on clichés like ‘brand grown up’ or ‘newer, sexier’ it’s more apt to say there was a fresh sophistication to the former Madison magazine editor and her designer sister’s wares.
That’s not to say they’ve abandoned their winning formula of feminine, floaty fabrics and pretty botanical prints, but rather refined them in a way that says cocktail hour rather than beach wedding. Think: The Great Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan packing for a holiday in the Hamptons in a delicious peach, mint and cream palette. Rather, it’s taken the polish next level.
The show’s styling, by Marina Didiovich, drove the message home – stiletto-heeled ankle boots, custom-made Sarah Jane Curtis sun hats, custom Chelsea De Luca jewellery and undone braided hair added elevated touches.
A white mermaid-tail skirt with frilled hem, for example, was teamed with balloon-sleeve white cotton shirt knotted at the front to make it more elevated than every day.
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The one-shouldered floral flamenco dress screamed Melbourne Cup 2018. Floral-printed one-piece swimwear boasted the sexy low back silhouette that will be huge next summer.
Even their long patchwork print cape had a sophisticated feel. (Fancy having a piece you could wear to both Splendour in the Grass and a garden wedding!)
“We were influenced by prints from the art nouveau era,” designer Elizabeth (Lizzie) Renkhert told me after the show. “Kindred is usually just free-flowing floals, but this year season we really played with asymyetrics, which also goes back to art nouveau.”
“We’re nearly five years in now and we know the Kindred girl is coming to us for beautiful, floral sexy pieces that just make her feel happy. She doesn’t take fashion too seriously, and when she puts Kindred on she just feels good about herself.”