The work of Rouda’s designer Megan McNeill is all about showcasing prints. With a background in textiles rather than fashion design, the 24-year-old Melbourne-based designer keeps silhouettes simple and relaxed in order to let her prints take centre stage. Rouda’s first collection, Positive/Negative, featured a monochromatic array of loose tees, wide-legged culottes and silk dresses, and was quickly picked up by Melbourne boutiques at the end of last year.
“This time around I’ve gone for something a bit more out there,” McNeill says of her latest collection. “I think a lot of people were a bit surprised at how colourful this collection is compared to the last one, which was quite pared back.”
At odds with the monochromatic tones from her first collection, Fiesta features hues of blue, purple and pale pink incorporated into Mexican-inspired prints. Patterns include boots, cacti and an otomi print – a traditional Mexican style incorporating birds, flowers and geometric patterns that originated in the hill tribes of Hidalgo. Viscose knits and linens take the place of the flowing silks from her last collection, but garments remain wearable and relaxed. Oversized T-shirts are paired with leggings; jumpers are coupled with loose-fit culottes.
Rather than being driven by trends, McNeill says her designs are inspired by a childlike creative state. “Quite often prints have come from drawing in my spare time, and then it just develops from that.”