Australia scouring the globe for future investment pieces to treasure and call our own—but what if these were on our doorstep? At a time when overseas travel seems but a lofty goal, and businesses big and small have been hit hard in the wake of Covid-19, it feels more meaningful to shop at home, if we can, and help support local labels.
Now more than ever, we are looking at fashion with a fresh outlook, evaluating the value (sentimental and environmental) and cost-per-wear of our pieces to ensure they serve us well for years to come. This approach sees us shopping with a renewed sense of consideration, our focus on finding pieces that are made with care, made at (or close) to home, with traceable materials and transparent supply chains. We’re looking to forward-thinking designers who are producing less, innovating more and presenting us with something new, different and exciting. These are the clothes and accessories we want to feel good in when we wear them.
But we need not stretch ourselves, or our Internet browsers, too far. Below, Vogue nominates five local labels from Australia and New Zealand to get acquainted with now, and keep in mind as you inevitably tire from—and look to update—your #WFH wardrobe.
She’s interested in fashion, but not slavish to trends, preferring to keep her silhouettes simple-but-personal, perhaps doing so by throwing vintage pieces into the mix—or so might read a fair description of the Blanca woman. This label is for women whose sense of dress is as utilitarian as it is stylish, and never overdone.
Tell us about the philosophy behind Blanca.
“Blanca aims to complete the Reliquia offering so that our girls can don the look head-to-toe. With Blanca, we hope to encourage our girl to always be creative while relaxed and comfortable.”
Who is the Blanca girl? What style codes does she live by?
“I envision the Blanca girl as one who is heavily inspired by the silhouettes of eras past but desires a modern spin. For example, Blanca offers blouses with oversized and laced collars which [have featured] throughout history, yet are difficult to come by in your ordinary vintage store. The pieces intend to provide a platform for her to accessorise and experiment with styling. Blanca slots into her wardrobe seamlessly and [can be] worn to work, dinner dates, lounging around the house (and working from home).”
Blanca’s clothing melds effortlessness and style; these are practical, easy-to-wear pieces that lend themselves to dressing up while feeling comfortable. Was this the mission behind Blanca?
“This was definitely one of the primary goals when curating the Blanca collection—I don’t think that getting dressed each day should be an added stress. I hope each wearer embraces her unique style with optimum comfort and confidence.”
So often women feel they have to compromise on either style or budget, but in the case of Blanca, this is not so. Tell us about the importance of the label’s price point.
“I’m very aware of the need for well-priced, practical clothing in the current climate. Our girls will invest in pieces they deem worthy—those made from quality fabrications that will outlast fleeting trends and wear will—but still need to be within realistic reach. [As designers], we need to start finding that middle ground between fast fashion and luxury, where our typically younger audience can be satisfied.”
Tell us about a favourite piece of yours from this collection, and how you would style it.
“My personal favourite is the Trine jacket. I’m looking forward to wearing this on colder days; it’s snuggly and soft, almost like a constant warm embrace. I’ll be wearing this with a simple shirt and trousers combination, socks and sneakers, with a hair accessory or two and layered chain [necklaces].”
Old school-meets-new. One of a kind. Countless styling possibilities. The woman wearing Par Moi approaches her style in the same relaxed, easy, breezy way as her pieces might move in a gentle wind. She is unafraid of print or colour, but these custom-made dresses and blouses allow for a quietly stylish statement, without having to shout. Weave your arms through their sleeves, embrace the signature puff, and go.
Tell us about the philosophy behind Par Moi
“Par Moi aims to create thoughtful and playful pieces that are well made with our planet in mind. I started Par Moi in January 2019 as a reaction to my past experiences in the fashion industry. My previous brand churned out multiple seasons a year to appease the wholesale structure and relied on the success of boutiques and multi-brand retailers… With Par Moi, I wanted to slow right down, focus on connecting directly with customers and take my own approach rather than rushing to finish a collection. I make each piece to order rather than holding stock, keeping waste to a bare minimum.”
Who is the Par Moi girl? What style codes does she live by?
“She is a conscious consumer who knows her personal style. She is also me—I really think about what I want to incorporate into my own everyday style when working on Par Moi. I want the pieces to take you through the day; they should work for you anywhere you might go on any given day.”
Where do you find inspiration?
“I don’t really go looking for inspiration but I definitely find myself inspired by other creative women who have the courage to do things their own way and make their own rules.”
Now more than ever, we’re looking to invest in essential pieces, to buy less and wear more. Why do Par Moi pieces stand the test of time?
“I think it’s important to put pieces out there that are well made and thoughtfully designed. After that, it’s up to the wearer—someone who buys mindfully and knows their personal style will choose pieces they will wear on repeat for years to come. I work on one piece at a time, thinking about how it will work on its own rather than as part of a collection. I think this lets the wearer work it into their personal style instead of trying to recreate a ‘look’. I also think that breaking away from the standard of creating seasonal collections means pieces are never attached to the stigma of becoming ‘last season’.”