Nicky Zimmermann found a new female heroine for fall 2019, an Australian by the name of Nancy Wake, who was a French Resistance fighter during World War II and earned the nickname “White Mouse” because she was so elusive to catch. “I couldn’t believe it when I first read about her,” the Down Under designer said after her show. “What all those women did during the war…when you think about it, they didn’t have to do it. It was very brave. And she was from Australia!”
There wasn’t anything elusive about Zimmermann’s runway assignment: “We wanted to mix toughness with femininity, playing with the contrast of leather outerwear and pretty dresses,” she said. Mission accomplished. Buttery leather trenchcoats, oversize bomber jackets, high-waisted, obi-belted trousers and wrap skirts added an elevated counterpoint to the brand’s signature romantic dresses, taking the boho aesthetic in a more luxe direction.
The season’s dresses came in peony or rose prints, with asymmetrical hems, lantern sleeves and pin-tuck lace details. If there was a gripe, it was that some were tricked out with a few too many ruffles, or too many corset-lacing, ribbon-tie and buckle details, perhaps. It’s hard to know how you’d get into some of them, much less out. Ruched floral minidresses offered a simpler alternative.
Per usual, Zimmermann zeroed in on several things that have potential to be Insta-girl trends — or maybe already are. Billowy blouses or bow-trimmed mohair sweaters tucked into leather pants made a strong case for bringing back Eighties-era leather dressing. And as part of Zimmermann’s vision, matching your floral printed Lycra boots to your floral dress actually looked covetable. Leather berets and kitten-heel boots with saucy, built-in chain anklets were the added pièce de resistance.