In fashion, it's a fine line between 'inspired by' and plain old 'rip off.' It's no easy feat for Australian designers to create clothing that is both new yet familiar, without succumbing to overseas trends. Even some of our strongest labels are guilty of an occasional duplicate here and there. Those local labels that do sketch and sew sans copycat tactics inevitably stand out in the stores, which is why Sydney label Strummer continues to shine so brightly.
Launching in 2008 with rock and roll in its heart and whimsy in its head, Strummer has grown from strength to strength and made name as a label that effortlessly brings the past into the present. From its first collection, the label has mastered the ability to create clothing you never knew you needed but instantly knew you wanted, and this summer's collection Halcyon Days is no exception.
Drawing on late 60s inflections and the music of fabled 70s folk singer Vashti Bunyan, designer Edwina Hagon has toned down the vintage influences to create an airy collection focused on proportion and subtle drape. It's not all foreign, just refined. The collection still encompasses Strummer's nonchalant whimsy that always comes across as effortlessly cool. If Halcyon Days was a record, it would be a compilation – Summer's Greatest Hits.
With 60s smock dresses, pussy bow blouses and 70s draped rompers, Strummer's love for nostalgia is still apparent. It's reminiscent of Chloe's golden days when Phoebe Philo was at the helm. Reminiscent, but not a rip off.
Hagon's signature warm hues stand strong, this time in shimmering butterscotch, chocolate suede and navy, balanced with ivory and powder blue. Together, it's grown up, alluring and well suited to an Australian summer.
Though there's no doubt Strummer has come of age, a small yet potent free-spirit still lingers. We’re glad some things never change.