Safari seems to be the style du jour this summer. While Vogue's recent issue honed in on African inspired garb, the big department stores are calling 'safari luxe' a hot summer trend. Perhaps it’s all the heat that makes us feel a little wild at heart? Another Aussie channelling the current summer safari strain is Deadly Ponies designer Liam Bowden. His latest offering of quality accessories features a number of safari references, ideal for those looking to embrace their inner beast.
Titled Okapi Rider, the collection is inspired by the surrealist works of American artist Walton Ford, a notable admirer of exotic creatures. Ford's watercolour landscapes and complex narratives are indeed a meaty subject to dissect, but Deadly Ponies have managed to deliver a suitably earthy, unexpected and animalistic range with aplomb.
Rich textures, surreal shapes and furry surprises punctuate these pieces. A taste of zebra print enlivens an otherwise minimal clasp purse, while goat's hair teams at the seams of a relaxed hobo handbag. Subtle eccentricities are combined with Deadly Ponies hallmarks, including gold clasps, buttery-soft leather and rich colours like peacock blue and dessert red. Some of the label's greatest hits have also been given a wild-child makeover with flourishes of bold colours and dipping techniques. Smaller and more compact shapes, including the new miniature Mr Fill N Zip and the itsy-bitsy coin purse, have also been added to the mix, providing a seamless crossover from day to night. Summer trends may come and go, but timelessness remains supreme.
The pieces by themselves – in true Deadly Ponies style – are quietly refined. Nothing screams 'on trend', but instead whispers exotic sweet nothings. Where the label gets a little more literal is in the look book images, replacing gazelle like models for a slender anteater, a bold lion and a miniature rhinoceros. Walton Ford would be proud.