Much like her resort collection, Nicky Zimmermann’s spring array was designed to bring forth joy and a sense of escapism through her fabulously feminine attire. The designer’s collections often start with a focus on print; for spring, discovering the works of fellow Australian Ellis Rowan, a trailblazing artist and botanical illustrator of the last century, made for the perfect fit.
“I’ve always had an interest in botanical art,” Zimmermann expressed over the phone. A short film accompanying her spring runway look book, too, expressed the designer’s admiration for the artistry. “We came across Ellis Rowan and her beautiful colors and femininity; her way of showing light through her paintings. For me, it didn’t have that scientific feel that we normally see in botanic art. In the turn of the century in Australia, this was an unusual thing and something we knew we really wanted to work with.”
Through a partnership with the National Library of Australia [among others], the designer was given the opportunity to bring 10 of Rowan’s works to life. Developed with Zimmermann’s signature flounce, the designer contrasted the artist’s feminine styles in papery, sheer organdy, specifically chosen to replicate the way light in Australia changes the vibrancy of colors. The result was divine. Diaphanous frocks came short, long, tiered, ruched, pouffed and corseted; all of which emulated romanticism and optimism. Zimmermann continued resort’s use of crinoline to add buoyancy while 3-D laser cut and embroidered flower petals and little butterfly appliqués fluttered across garments.
“We couldn’t control what that dress was going to do when the girls walked, it was just whatever happened, happened. That was very much the sort of thing we were interested in,” she noted of the looks, which debuted via a runway film. Via look book, the collection was adorable and via film, even better, displaying the garments’ natural movement. Inspired by her extended time spent at home, three different sets of Australian wildflowers were rolled in to complete the runway set.
To balance out the collection, Zimmermann peppered in her take on masculine tailoring. Milky, neutral linen suiting with Italian cotton shirting and lace camisole teddies topped with Zimmermann’s flirty touches: twisted scarves tied into handbags and playful, printed ties.