“This season I started with the memory of a music television show in Australia in the 70’s and 80’s called Countdown. Growing up in the suburbs, between 6pm and 7pm each Sunday night, it was this exciting and inspirational escape for me, where music, fashion and a wider world came together. There were all these great international bands who were touring Australia, performing alongside established and emerging local artists, and these hilariously candid interviews with the host, Molly Meldrum. I loved the energy and creativity that came together with each show – it was so addictive! It was a really important influence on me growing up as a teenager, which is funny when I think back to it.
The collection themes came as much from the mood it evoked as much as the eras it traversed.”
– Creative Director, Nicky Zimmermann.
Australians have a knack for holding homegrown labels close, even when they reach great success on the international stage. Zimmermann is a perfect example. It all began right here in Sydney, or more specifically the Paddington markets, where sisters Nicky and Simon would sell their wares to the city’s discerning residents. But fast forward some 30 years, and it’s a globally recognised fashion luxuriate – one that swapped out our small-scale version of fashion week for the gritty, distinctive energy of New York.
This time last year I was backstage the brand’s NYFW Spring 2020 show. It was in a warehouse on 508 W 37TH Street and I had combat boots on because there was a chance of snow. But even in the industrial setting and the sub-zero temperatures, Zimmerman still felt like a slice of home. Hair was loose and textured, the skin was fresh and dewy. Hemlines were short and prints were bold. The set itself was even designed to resemble the beaches of Cronulla – a tiny piece of coastal paradise on the other side of the world.
All this happened mere weeks before the pandemic, so it will come as no surprise that this mornings’ Fall 2021 Ready To Wear collection was shown not in New York but back home, in Sydney. It’s undoubtedly sad (NYFW is currently a shell of its former self) but it still feels fitting, especially when you consider the inspiration for the collection was an iconic free-to-air television program that more or less defined Australia’s music scene in the ’70s and ’80s.
Called In Concert, the entire concept was about bravado, joy and embellishments, the beauty look especially. Makeup artist Noni Smith paired a fresh, glossy base with smudged black liner and a smattering of glitter. For some models, it was placed in the inner corner of the eye, whereas others wore it directly in the centre. Lashes were thick and inky black, and often framed with oversized glasses. In essence, it was ’70s disco David Bowie meets Elton John; a clear tribute to some of the eras great musical talents.
Hair was by Sydney stylist Renya Xydis, and featured the brand’s signature undone wave. It was full, natural and textured – and designed to work with the model’s hair type, as opposed to against it.
If anything the beauty was edgier than season’s past, but it was still decidedly Zimmermann. And against the clothing itself – rich in colour, texture and detail – it was perfect.