“I had a few of Rupert Bunny’s paintings on my initial mood board, mixed with a variety of quite feminine and romantic imagery and more modern and urban contrasts,” explains Nicky Zimmermann of the influences behind her Fall 2023 collection. “I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with a selection of Bunny’s paintings by the National Victorian Gallery and some of these feature in key prints throughout the collection.”
The result is a Fall 2023 wardrobe heaping with Zimmermann’s signatures (billowing sleeves, ruffled shoulders, lace skirts, romantic trimmings), designed in dialogue with Bunny’s works. There are frilly blouses and skirts printed with the artist’s idyllic floral scenes and dresses with lace skirts depicting tableaus of women in nature; neither fabric nor print vie for attention but work harmoniously in combination. Together, these looks counterbalance Zimmermann’s foray into structured leather jumpsuits, pillowy puffer jackets and denim, proffering restrained alternatives for women who want their clothes to both romanticize and empower. More antitheses: straight-legged jeans paired with cropped sheer blouses; skinny versions shown with evening jackets; leather shirts styled with floral bubble skirts and cable-knit sweaters paired with sweeping ones.
Zimmermann is wedding old with new, and intentionally so. “We have worked with a lot of new silhouettes this season which play out through draped dresses and floating skirts mixed in with suiting and a strong dose of denim,” the designer told Grazia. “There are also hints of lingerie throughout which lend to some of the more romantic looks.” Hyperfeminine dresses for which the house is known (see a soft peach and lace example with a trailing skirt at the back) are made less so underneath a motorcycle leather jacket, while an oversized plaid coat hugs the figure without overwhelming it, thanks in part to a scoop-necked lace bodysuit worn below.
That Zimmermann is able to play to her strengths while stretching the brand’s vocabulary is no small feat. It’s clear, through this collection, that she is consciously working to make ample room for evolved designs to sit neatly alongside older favorites — and if this was a showcase of what is to come, the future is warmly welcomed.