Embrace the Mediterranean way of life. That’s the mantra of Alexandra Heard and Heleena Trahanas, the pair behind Sydney-born fashion and lifestyle studio Alex and Trahanas.

In November 2017 the duo launched its online platform with breezy linen shift dresses (made in one of Italy’s oldest mills) and handcrafted Apulian vases, and dinner and aperitivo ceramics. Since then the offering has swollen to include a collection of products including Venetian slippers and magazines. The spring-summer 2019/2020 collection, La Bella Figura (which translates to “beautiful figure”), is ideal for rolling lunches and dinners shared with friends and family.

“We wanted to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to Australian waters and create our own little Europe through [our] curated world,” says Trahanas. “We love to curate garments, accessories and tablewares that elevate entertaining, considering the whole scene, from what we or our guests would love to wear and feel good in, to how the table is set. We are slowly building out this story.”

The collection includes new linen-cotton-blend garments (made with Apulian hotel Masseria Moroseta); handpainted ceramics, jugs, striped wine buckets and serving platters painted with octopus and lobsters; Chifferi pasta-inspired hoop earrings and golden “limone” studs made in collaboration with Dinosaur Designs artist and designer Louise Olsen; French silk scarves by Paris-based Les Belles Heures; Venetian slippers by Vibi Venezia; and a new range of bevelled wine tumblers by Italian brand Bitossi.

The campaign for La Bella Figura features French model Joanne Palmaro as she navigates the cobbled streets of Italy’s Positano wearing timeless linen dresses and feasting on pasta and aperitivo served on the label’s ceramics and tableware.

It’s fitting that a label all about living the good life was founded because of a holiday. The story began poolside in Puglia as Heard and Trahanas discussed how difficult it was to find easy-to-wear linen garments cut in refined, classic silhouettes that they could reach for after a swim and before lunch. “We wanted to fill a niche where fashion, food and entertaining come together to create gorgeous occasions for friends and family,” says Trahanas.

The two are expert hosts, and their recipe for a successful dinner party is “good company, French champagne to begin, delicious wine to follow and a digestif to end”, Trahanas says.

And she has more tips.

When planning the menu “ensure a majority of the preparation is done before guests arrive so they have your full attention.” Include something special guests may not have tried before, think about food that doesn’t leave everyone feeling too full and use lots of fresh ingredients and herbs.

“Food should be in abundance and easily shared around the table. A playlist that makes your guests escape and relax in your setting is also a must,” says Trahanas.

As for the table, vibrant ceramics, textured washed-linen napkins, displays of fruit and flowers, and tiered candles for dinner will elevate the occasion. “Colour, layers and varying heights – an abundant feast for the eyes.”

La Bella Figura launches online on Wednesday October 30.

alexandtrahanas.com