There is an abundance of flowers that are iconically Sydney. The purple blooms that rain from jacaranda trees in early November, the too-pretty-to-pick flannel flowers in Botany Bay National Park, and the “happy hibiscus” – printed on linen sets, towels, caps, and jumpers across the entire city.
That smiling flower is the logo of Sydney-born label Emma Mulholland on Holiday. Founded in 2017 by eponymous local fashion designer Emma Mulholland, the brand has made waves nationally and internationally for its playful and comfortable loungewear – particularly, its cult line of linen pyjama sets-turned-everyday wear.
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Now Rendezvous Wear, the just-launched 13th collection, shows the label is more than pyjama pieces. Emma Mulholland on Holiday is here to party.
“I’m looking forward to exploring some more developed and dressed-up styles,” Mulholland tells Broadsheet. “Linen will always play a big part in our collection, but the new styles definitely have a more elevated look and feel to them. We are using [new materials like] a great recycled polyester, as well as custom broderie anglaise organic poplin that we have developed.”
The happy hibiscus gets a spruce up with sequins; the classic check print is darker (and a little more disco); and the sellout heart tank is reinvented as a roomy dance floor staple. Rendezvous Wear is a new era for the label, while still delivering the easily identifiable Emma Mulholland on Holiday styles “that have sense of humour and [a bit of] nostalgia”.
The collection’s initial design process began when Mulholland was planning her wedding, she explains. The timing sparked the idea for an expansion of the brand, as she found herself wishing more guests at her wedding could be dressed in her clothing line.
The mood board featured a scattering of hearts and bows, which translates onto new pieces like the Wild at Heart slip dress and mesh top, as well as the Cupid top. “Trying to differentiate between [the wedding planning] and the collection was difficult – they did tend to roll into one,” Mulholland admits. “The little cupid heart actually appeared on our menu, too.”
As the name suggests, Emma Mulholland on Holiday has always been about capturing the look and feel of being on vacation. And while previous collections may have focused on days spent by the pool, Rendezvous Wear is all about the nightlife, drawing on ’80s and ’90s references such as J-Pop star Yui Asaka, and iconic Clueless characters Cher, Dionne and Tai.
“I also wanted to look back to [a time of] travel that was a bit more glamorous and a little less casual,” Mulholland says. “Princess Diana’s two-piece suits she wore arriving onto her yacht, then switching it up for a very glamorous one-piece swimsuit, or Kate Moss’s perfectly fitted Prada pants and baby tees as she jumped off the plane with Johnny Depp.”