The land down under, a place like no where else on earth. We have unique wildlife, incredibly diverse landscapes from deserts to rainforests, snowy mountains to white sanded beaches and a climate to match.
For a long time fashion has been mirrored the world over, what happens in the European fashion houses has been reflected through brands the world over – but Australian fashion houses have been growing and finding their own unique take on fashion and building an aesthetic that is distinctly and undeniably Australian. And I don’t mean rugby shorts with muscles shirts and thongs!
So what is Australian fashion, outside of a brand that is designed and made here – what makes it reflect our country, our values and how are we defining our own path in style.
I believe Australian fashion reflects our lifestyle and approach to life – laidback, effortless and allows for individuality and expression of our authentic selves. As large parts of the country live in mostly warm weather with short and mild winters, many of our styles would be classified as resort wear in other cultures – but it’s a perfect fit for our climate and our love of outdoor living.
Our fashion has a simple, unsophisticated style that oozes ease, elegance and quiet glamour. The inspiration for many is drawn from our unique and diverse landscape, and a respect for the traditional owners of the land. With designers lifting inspiration out of deserts, rainforests, aboriginal artwork and of course our wildlife – both in colours, prints and styles.
When you think of a classic Australian fashion style think light and airy with a twist of luxury and the ease and grace you’d think only a model could pull off – but it’s the 60 year old fashion influencer who lives in the outback and her style is effortless and too cool.
Coastal shades of beige, white, sand and all the blues are forever popular to keep us cool in our sunshine filled days, but our fashion isn’t bland. There are jewel toned greens from the rainforest, the warmth of golden sun-beating yellows and the dusty oranges and reds of desert sands. Our prints are bold, bright and energetic, depicting the classic Australian optimism and hour of living. You’ll find we are as much a rainbow nation when it comes to fashion as South Africa is with its people.
What I love most is there is space for everyone, for their individual tastes, preferences and their own lifestyle. There isn’t a blanket approach or style guide that you have to follow. Building your own approach and finding what works for you is part of the Australian style way; we don’t expect each other to all look alike – just as our environment is so varied and we appreciate that, we recognise and appreciate it in each other.
I think the real key to our unique style is our authenticity and our desire to stay true to who we are as a nation, respecting and honouring our history while looking forward with excitement through innovation and the changing landscape of fashion. Our fresh perspective brings something to the fashion world that hasn’t been seen before and our dynamic and innovative approach is especially what it needs as we all seek answers toward sustainability and growth in our ever changing world.
And just like we love a good parmi at the local on a Friday night we love our fashion to be fuss free, rich in texture and flavour and always delivered with a smile.