Australia — not the sporty surf of Bondi or the soaring curves of the Sydney Opera House, but the country’s more romantic and distant past — informed Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s fall collection. “We had a huge story to tell about the history and the landscape and the way we viewed where everything came from there,” said Laura postshow. The designers followed a savvy arc that indulged the misty-eyed sentimentality that fuels their creative intelligence while making an effort to feed the commercial end of a business, albeit a very niche one.
The dusty blues and rust tones of arid inland Australia colored the clothes, beginning with soft circle skirts and cropped blouses with dolman sleeves. These offered a wistful nod toward homely innocence that seemed rooted in the Thirties. In today’s world, their obvious discretion demands a certain fashion bravery. For those who prefer to swim with the current stylistic tides, there was the Outback. The Mulleavys molded the idea of rugged terrain into outstanding fisherman sweaters and patchwork aviator shearlings, which are having a moment right now, though these were a clear cut above what can be found in a store near you. The leather work continued on sheaths, nipped at the waist and sporting Aboriginal patterns that moved the lineup in an edgier direction. That tension between somber, old-world femininity and modern moodiness was pitch perfect in the Victorian-inspired gowns that came two ways: a hand print on tiered chiffons, and loose columns, their black lace collars connected with tulle for a strapless effect.