Lucy Folk is one of the few Australian designers to break through overseas, garnering an international celebrity following.
Snoop Dogg, Lily Allen and Erykah Badu have all worn Folk’s corn chip necklaces, and Beyoncé has posed for album covers in the gold Aztec triangle studs. Suki Waterhouse donned the anchovy rings and the pearl ear cuffs to the Oscars last year.
Elle Fanning has the taco friendship bracelet, and Anna Dello Russo has been seen in Folk’s shapeshifter chain necklace. Solange; Leandra Medine of Man Repeller; director Gia Coppola; and actor Jessica Biel are fans of Folk’s bejewelled clutches.
From food-inspired jewels to retro Italian shades, pretty pearls and bold shapes, Lucy Folk’s aesthetic is constantly evolving. “My approach is very organic,” says the designer. “Food jewels aren’t my forte anymore! My influences have changed. Now I am a lot more inspired by travel, art and my journey.”
Her latest collection, Naturalist, is inspired by Folk’s recent move to Sydney and her love of the beach. “It's almost impossible not to be drawn to the ocean because I live by the beach and once you breathe in that salty sea air, the ideas start flowing in,” she says.
The textures of each piece in the new collection are inspired by the shape of the rocky coastlines of Formentera, Spain. It’s a cue to return to nature. “It’s about stripping things back and being at one with your environment. Escape the city, take your clothes off, frolic in the sea and get some vitamin D. Be a naturalist,” she says.
Naturalist is also an ode to the beautiful inconsistencies and imperfections of the natural world. The Crochet Cluster Earrings II look like tiny boulders for your ears. The more intricate Green Hues Cluster Ring is like a tiny forest canopy. The Pearly Dough Cuff and Balearic Bracelet reflect rock pools, and the Twizzler Hoop Earrings imitate light-dappled oceans. The collection also features sunglasses, clutches, hair ties and socks.
To promote the new line, Folk has gone beyond simple look-book images. The campaign was shot by Mason Poole, Beyoncé’s official photographer. The result is a series of seductive, visceral images that push the boundaries of fashion photography.
“We really try and tell a story when we shoot. It’s all about the concept. Mason is a friend. I met him through my dear friend Lizzie Nanut who has art directed numerous shoots for me,” says Folk. “He is incredibly talented and it’s a fun, organic collaboration. It’s pared back but his shots are so detailed and beautiful.”
The campaign also features a David Attenborough-inspired film, Birds of Paradise, which was directed by Melbourne-born Sophie Edelstein (celebrity photographer Mario Testino’s film producer). Featuring the rugged coastline and arid vineyards of Formentera, the landscape emulates Folk’s jewels, sunglasses and clutches.
Naturalist is available to buy now online.