The silk scarf is a shape-shifting silhouette. It can be worn a plethora of ways: tucked, tied, looped, platted and knotted into countless forms – a necklace, dress, bracelet, sarong, head scarf, bag accessory, halter dress, belt. It’s been a multi-purpose wardrobe staple for hundreds of years.
Georgia Baillieu, a former bridal consultant and buyer at iconic Melbourne fashion boutique Le Louvre for six years, appreciates that kind of versatility. She launched her own statement scarf label, G, this week. The 100 per cent silk scarves feature striking safari motifs, which speak to her love of Africa and its wild animals.
“The idea was born during a family trip to East Africa last year, where I was blown away by the beauty and the diversity of wildlife there,” says Baillieu. “These scarves are a combination of my passion for animals, fashion and design.”
Baillieu worked closely with Melbourne graphic designer Madeline Simpson to design the print, which features beautifully detailed scenes of lions, monkeys, vegetation and more. Each delicate, hand-drawn African animal took months to perfect.
“What I admire about scarves is how beautiful the detail can be,” Baillieu says. “I dreamt up the lion sleeping in the tree, the giraffe … Basically it grew from a small cluster of animals and we merged it into one greater composition.”
G scarves take Baillieu’s passion for these animals a step further. She donates 10 per cent of every sale to the Big Life Foundation, an organisation dedicated to preventing animal poaching over more than 1.6 million acres of wilderness in East Africa. Baillieu is determined to raise awareness of the issue through her scarves – researchers estimate 35,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, which amounts to 10 per cent of Africa’s elephant population.
“When we were staying at a lodge in Kenya, I was lucky enough to meet the founder, [conservationist] Richard Bonhan, and learnt about the extraordinary work he’s doing,” Baillieu says. “I was really inspired to help and asked to collaborate.”
G scarves come in two colourways (an emerald green and Bordeaux-style red) and two sizes – a smaller square for $110 and a larger $140 option. Each scarf comes in a smart printed cylinder.
The designs have a vintage charm to them, inspired by Bailleu’s mum and grandmother's collection of Hermès scarves. “I wanted to modernise it, and give it more purpose by supporting a foundation,” she says.
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