Anna McLaren wants to make beautiful things that are easy to wear. It sounds simple enough, but in reality, it’s hard to execute. McLaren is the founder and designer of A Emery, a brand known best for its sleek sandals, and its new clothing collection exudes the same effortless minimalism.
Beautiful things aren’t always functional. And the pieces we wear day in, day out, must serve utility above all. “My dream is a wardrobe of tailored pieces, knitwear and shirting that you can throw on and feel really put together but still comfortable and not like you’re trying too hard,” McLaren says. The Melbourne label’s debut apparel collection, which just launched online, is the realisation of this aim.
How does a fabric fall? What details make a piece fit better? These are the questions she asks while designing. A pair of tailored pants might look stunning on a hanger but does that translate to a body?
Most of the tailoring is cut from tropical wool, a lightweight fabric.
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At face value the Goddard pants might seem like any other pair of black tailored pants. But the drape the fabric offers the double-pleated design is effortless. And the side seams are set further back than usual for a more flattering silhouette.
McLaren says these details elevate basic items into treasured pieces. The Ven skirt is cut from Japanese cotton seersucker, which has a similar breathability to linen but doesn’t crease as easily. Hidden in the folds of the self-tie raised waistband is a set of button closures that lets you further adjust the fit. These little details acknowledge the human wearing the clothes.
McLaren has never been one for blazers personally, but she’s designed the Rosalind silhouette, a collarless style that comes in black and beige. “It’s got great reach – you can move in it, you can drive in it. I just always want things to have a sense of ease,” she says. The colour palette is neutral for a similar reason. Black, white and beige always work together, making getting dressed easier.
While technically a resort collection, the first drop from the brand includes a trench coat but only two dresses. This speaks to McLaren’s personal style and a trans-seasonal approach to shopping. There’s also a distinct “Melbourne-ness” to the idea that you always need a jacket on hand. “I want to create a wardrobe that is applicable to all situations. Some pieces can be dressed up and made to feel more ‘corporate’ as needed. But there’s also a slouch to certain silhouettes,” she says.
The brand has also released a new-season collection of footwear that complements the apparel.