Zimmermann showed their first ready-to-wear collection on the Paris Fashion Week schedule this week. It’s an honour to be sure, but it’s also a natural progression for the Australian brand, who have been quietly exploding all over Europe in the last couple of years. The numbers don’t lie: the store Zimmermann just opened in Florence marks the brand’s 53rd internationally and its 33rd in Europe. While many designers struggled through two years of lockdowns, the brand founded by sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann thrived. In 2022 their signature brand of refined beachside glamour is as potent and coveted as it ever has been.
And so, after nearly a decade showing at New York Fashion Week, Zimmermann arrived in Paris. The brand’s Spring Summer 2023 collection doubled down on all the elements that have made the brand a household name—remarkably crafted dresses in lace and silk, breezy ‘drinks-to-dinner’ two piece sets, beautiful floral motifs. Creative director Nicky Zimmermann was thinking about her neighbourhood, Sydney’s Tamarama beach, when she began designing. “For many years I lived in Tamarama. It’s a really beautiful and popular surf spot in Sydney, but what’s less well known is that in the early 1900s it was the home to an amusement park called Wonderland City,” she explained in the collection’s notes. “It had a rollercoaster that ran from one end of the beach to the other. It’s always intrigued me – it’s so wild to think of it like that today. It provided us with a fun and rich source of inspiration for our collection this season. We thought about the change to the beachscape and the lifestyle from then to now and bringing that to life.”
That inspiration came courtesy of Edwardian elements from Wonderland City’s heyday—the corset and full skirt from the collections’ opening look, the high-necked ruffle blouses and dresses, the full-length long-sleeved gown that closed the show. The latter, one of the strongest looks in the collection, featured the most overt reference to Tamarama: the dress was covered in a delicate landscape print of beachside revelers at sunset, with the word ‘Wonderland’ in a psychedelic font across the bust. Zimmermann affixed baby pink puka shells at the neckline and cuffs. It was delicious proof that even as Zimmermann become the toast of the international glamour set, and household European names, they are and always will be a proudly Australian fashion brand.