If there was a single word that summed up Afterpay Australian Fashion Week earlier this year, it was most likely ‘optimistic’.
“[Fashion week] feels re-energised and more optimistic,” veteran fashion publicist Marie-Claude Mallat told us in May. “The fashion week circuit does indeed feel like a renewed energy and spirit has re-energised our industry,” agreed AJE co-founder Edwina Forrest.
Just five weeks later, Sydney went into lockdown, with Melbourne hot on its heels. Freedom, fashion and optimism went out the window, jettisoned in favour of tracky-dacks, lockdowns and grim resignation. Sorbet palettes and party dresses never looked so out of touch – or out of reach.
Or at least that was how it seemed. Fast forward a few months, and the collections that showed in May are starting to hit the shops, and there is, once again, a renewed sense of hope and optimism in the air. (Touch wood.)
As we hurtle towards summer, we’ve asked four stylists we love to share the pieces on their wishlist this season. After all it’s about time we got the summer – and the fashion – we deserve.
Petta Chua is the fashion director of GQ Australia and a contributing fashion editor of Vogue Australia.
“I like to spend spring in colour – and I always try challenge myself to wearing colours I don’t typically gravitate to. It makes for unexpected wardrobe delights.
“I adore Nagnata… Admittedly, I am guilty of wearing it for anything but yoga. I’ll be buying these bikers in the sunflower yellow.
“I’ve had my eye on this Blanca shirt for some time! It’s got this great kinda ‘80s boxy shoulder, which is super cute with bike shorts. (Or for me this spring: pedal pushers. I’m into, into, into it.) It’s also that perfect lightweight short-sleeved summer shirt that can dip between office and daywear depending on your need.
“Esse studios has nailed that easy, but body-celebrating elegance that makes spring dressing fun. You know this folded halter midi dress will look liquid, and make you feel sexy and elegant. This is what spring dressing is all about for me: easing back into my skin. I love their whole collection but this is a favourite piece.
“Autark have also crept up to being a new favourite Australian label. They create magnificent poetic keep-forever pieces – right here in Australia, with great attention to sustainability. This scarf blouse is heaven. “
Tara Morris is one of PRIMER’s regular stylists. She has worked at a range of magazines, including marie claire.
“I’m a mumma-to-be, so this Aere dress is perfect for the last stages of pregnancy and long summer days afterward. It will make me feel dressed up, but still at ease!
“The Marni bag is the perfect bag all-rounder – spring/summer perfection – and I love these Loewe sunglasses. I always opt for a slight cat-eye shape for my sunnies. Lastly, I want to get one of these ‘shrine’ bracelets to make a little wrist stack.”
Lucy Wood is one of PRIMER’s regular stylists, and a former market editor at InStyle Australia.
“Comfort has definitely become a priority during lockdown and it’s something I’m not ready to stray away from just yet. So, practical shoes are a must for me. As an accessory enthusiast, I’m looking forward to swapping out some of my classic jewellery pieces for some playful, colourful beaded styles.
“I love a casual, throw-it-all-in kind of bag and so this Marni one will be just the thing for lockdown picnics and beach trips.
“During the warmer seasons I’m usually drawn to billowy dresses, and this kitschy Sea one caught my eye. The vest is detachable too, gotta love the two-for-one versatility!’
Lill Jenner is a stylist whose work has appeared in InStyle Australia, marie claire and more.
“I think there is a general feeling that we will all be emerging from our tracksuit-and-legging-wearing cocoons this spring…slowly, cautiously back into some form of social interaction and celebrations of togetherness.
“I want to convey that sense of optimism in my outfits this spring. I want colour, I want print, I want something silk that feels luxurious and actually screams ‘I can see people in real life!” These Esber pants hit this feeling perfectly, and I will be wearing them with Matteau’s chic-yet-flat sandals.
“Peony Swim is an Australian sustainable swim brand that always does sweet prints and great cuts, and I love this chocolate check bikini. I’m normally a black swim gal but this feels stylish and fun which feels perfect for my ‘optimistic’ feeling for spring.”
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