The 15th Bestowed collection has been a challenge to create due to everything happening in 2020, but it has also been one of my most favourite collections ever.
I love the print, I love the styles and I love the whole thing!
If you haven't seen the journal story about the Lino print, 'Treasured Gems' by artist Rachael Lee, I recommend you take a look at it. That way you know the story behind this amazing screen print.
(above is the Aura top over a Nasturtium top and Harmony maxi skirt)
When it came to designing the styles for the new print, I had to put my thinking cap on and reflect back to last summer. What did I gravitate to? What did I want to wear the most? What do I need in my wardrobe that I don't already have? I have many beautiful maxi dresses that I live in during summer, so I felt I didn't need to design more this year. I really love wearing the Rose dress because it's shorter and super cool to wear, so maybe shorter dresses would be best? Lately I have sort of bulked out a little around the middle and so have many of our customers, so maybe 'gentle waistbands' nothing restrictive. So that was how I started, a clear vision of comfort and coolness.
(above is the Recline midi dress)
I designed the Recline dress, in two lengths, short to be my new Rose dress type of style and the midi length to be longer but not maxi, which will make many shorter people super happy. It's inspired by the classic Dita dress, racer back and flared. The recline dress neckline is not as low as the Dita and the racer back not as cutaway, also it's flared but not as full as the Dita dress. The Recline dresses feature huge pockets, big big pockets that swallow your arms when you put them inside! The pocket edge has got stretchy binding to softly gather them in. These are great pockets.
(below is the Recline short dress, layered with the Nimbus pants and Aura top)
I often am asked to design sleeved dresses. I sometimes do but I find it hard to design as I always wear sleeveless in summer as I live in Brisbane where wearing any clothing is too much sometimes! To create a sleeved dress you can simply add an Aura top. This oversized loose top adds sleeves without being hot and restrictive. It's airy and cool to wear with the option to tie the sleeves up for a shorter sleeved look, like the Lore tee has. The Aura top comes in both print and plain and I know that it will be super handy as it goes over anything and everything as well as being perfect over both lengths of the Recline dress.
(below is the Recline short dress with & without the Aura top)
Note that the Recline short dress looks fairly short on Amanda as she is 180cm tall. But after the photo shoot before production I added 3cm to the length of the hem to lengthen a little.
I designed a simple skirt (the Harmony skirt) in two lengths to match with your choice of top. This way you get the dress look if you match print with print, or you can match the printed skirt with a plain top, there are so many options.
Below is the Archie tank tucked into the Harmony short skirt. It's a cute summer 'dress'. The Harmony skirts have a soft organic cotton rib waistband that is loose and comfy, not fitted and tight creating a muffin top! The skirt is held up/secured by a soft cotton drawcord that was made in NZ. I off set the tie of the drawcord to be over the right hip rather than centre front. This way you get to show the detail of the ties.
Below is the Harmony maxi skirt matched with the Dusk top, both in the Indigo print. I tucked the front only of the top into the waistband of the skirt. The shirt tail hem of the Dusk top works so well if you want to try this half tucked in look, or you can tuck all in or all out. It's very versatile and easy to wear. The maxi skirt is exactly the same as the short skirt, except it's longer and I have left the hem raw, so it's easy to shorten if you don't want all the length.
Below is our classic oversized Lore tee. I simply had to add this back into this new collection because I wear my plain black one so much and I wanted to have one in this new print. It's paired here with one version of the new Nimbus pants.
When creating this collection I knew the majority of it was the Australian made organic cotton jersey but I needed some woven fabrics to make pants as every collection needs pants. I did the same thing as I have done all year, go searching in our trusty fabric storage area. I had this roll of ink coloured organic cotton which I matched with a Japanese made cotton that has a cute dotty print. I used this fabric in 2018 in a Rant summer collection and I was so glad I still had some as it was so light and a perfect hem panel option.
Another fabric from my storage area was this bold spot, black with large white spots, so good! The hem panels on this are from a fabric that is a sheer cotton with embroidered little squares. It looks really good when you see the sheer panels floating around your ankles.
The Nimbus pants follow the same principle as all the other styles in this 15th Bestowed collection. No elastic, nothing tight or fitted. The same NZ made super soft cotton drawcord is the waistband of the Nimbus pants and I placed the opening where they tie off to the right hand side just like the Harmony skirts. Each version has hem panels and are a cropped length, nice and breezy for summer and suits all heights.
Another drawcord pant style (using the same nice soft NZ made drawcord) introduced in this collection is the Drift pants shown below. I had a roll of this Italian made cotton fabric, again waiting for the perfect style. I buy fabrics when they're something I like and I know that I will use it. This was dead stock fabric, leftover from an Italian label. The colour is neutral, sort of grey but with some taupe in it, if that makes sense. It matches lots of colours, so easy to match with any top. I decorated these pants with 4 pockets out of different grey/black striped Japanese made cotton fabric. The front two pockets are a thin stripe, vertical. The two back pockets are a wider stripe, one is vertical and the other horizontal. The Drift pants have a fake fly detail and a wide waistband with the drawcord at the top which ties at centre front. These pants are a great unisex style, I know this because Jason has been wearing them for the past couple of weeks. The top it's paired with below is the Archie tank and the East bag.
Last but not least is the Yonder short pants. This is a new interpretation of our Trinity pants, same pockets and back panel detail. I wanted a shorter pair for the heat of summer and wanted to introduce a new waistband, one without the restriction of elastic, very 2020 suitable! So, the Yonder short pants have a soft double thickness flat waistband, similar to the one on the leggings we make. They are super popular here at our studio, all 3 of us have two pairs each, so I can tell you that they are unisex and can be worn in so many ways and suit so many shapes and sizes. Below I have matched them with a Dusk top and belted it with the Stitch belt, which matches the white print perfectly.
This collection comes with the original 'Treasured Gems' artwork. Rachael has done 9 limited edition prints using the hand carved Lino and these are available to purchase (unframed) from us. We also has some mini pieces of her art, called 'Little Gems' which are of the flowering gum part of the lino print. They come in black and white and there is a version which has had colour added. These are limited as well to 9 of each version. Rachael told me her printing number is 9, she only prints 9 to keep it limited, and the number is 9 because she loves cats.
Below is my framed one of 9 'Treasured Gems'. It looks great in a simple black frame, this one was a gift to us from Rachael.
Rachael has also created some zero waste cards using the perfect parts from misprints. They're all hand made and there are 5 versions as shown below. They would be cute to use as a gift card if you're gifting a garment in the print.
I hope you love this collection and the original artwork. Doing collaborations with artists brings something different to a collection. I love the interaction and showing my interpretation in garment form of what I see in that art. Everyone sees the world so differently and it's special when you see the artist wearing their art as a garment.
Remember, it's ALL Australian made like everything we create and sell.
Thanks for your support,