Ah, linen. It’s a humble fabric. Once reserved for aprons, tablecloths and your grandmother’s handkerchiefs, the flax-born textile has been embraced by fashion in new and interesting ways.
One after another, local labels are adding this natural, breathable fabric to their repertoires. Here’s a selection of the best styles to invest in this season, from the longstanding champions, to the new adopters.
Arthur Apparel’s Natural Lounger
Sydney-based Olivia Gow understands the oversized shirt was the big hit of 2016. Her shirt-style linen romper is a natural progression. The loose style sold out after its first release, but has since been restocked. The label has been specialising in linen for a long time, playing with a natural palette when it comes to the fabrics. Much of this label’s work is done in some form of linen or a linen blend, though it’s also making cotton corduroy culottes for spring/summer 2017.
Avenue’s Nelson Bow Cap
While Avenue only produces totes and caps, it does them well. We’re particularly drawn to The Nelson style. It’s made from 100 per cent linen in a soft, washed pink and offers a customised fit thanks to its relaxed bow back. The Nelson joins a textural line-up of suede and satin headwear. It’s around $90 and Afterpay is also an option.
Caves Collect Alice Linen Ciggie Pant
This Melbourne label is about honesty, ease and elegance – three features woven into a single pair of pants. Caves Collect’s high-waisted linen iteration is a welcome spin on the classic cigarette pant, tidying masculine elements to flatter the female form. The Alice is also available in black and navy and is made using 100 per cent linen that is also opaque. Like all things Caves Collect, it’s handmade in Melbourne.
Nice Martin’s Riley Dress
Nice Martin is known for basics that come in relaxed fits and generous sizes. And it’s no stranger to linen. The Sydney label works with the flax fabric across all styles. While the Nice Martin jumpsuits have earned the greatest attention, it’s the Riley Dress that has caught our eye. The oversized style takes on Nice Martin’s signature boxy cut, which is balanced with a cropped length and upper frill detail. The straps are removable. It will set you back $159.95 and Afterpay is also available.
FME Apparel’s Pinafore Playsuit
Joining an exceptional line-up for spring/summer 2017, FME’s pinafore playsuit straddles the line between boyish and feminine. Like much of this season’s collection, it’s made from a luxurious silk-linen blend and plays expertly with soft tailoring. The upper features a classic pinafore bodice and extended shoulder straps that can be wrapped or bowed at the back. As for the rest of the Aestival collection, expect similar muted tones, including a soft gingham print. Many FME pieces are made to order, so allow three weeks for delivery.
Sir the Label’s Kaya Ruffle Skirt and Top
We’ve long admired Sir’s relaxed approach to design and its use of natural fabrics. For spring/summer 2017, the Sydney label has turned up a linen offering that’s a little more playful. Cuts are flirty and feminine but retain Sir’s undone edge via raw hemlines and minimal seams. The Kaya Ruffle Skirt and One Shoulder Top ($200 and $180 respectively) are two perfect examples, though the rest of the season’s offering is just as strong.
Acler’s Phoenix Linen Trench
Acler launched in Adelaide in 2015 to fill a gap for luxury products at a competitive price. Leaving fast fashion behind after more than a decade, Julia Ritorto and Kathryn Forth now take it slow. Getting a blouse on Beyoncé Knowles’s radar earlier this year helped get the label noticed overseas.
The Linen Trench works well on cooler nights thrown over summer dresses as a good transitional piece. It has a relaxed silhouette, draped lapel collar and full-length sleeves with wrist-tie finishes.
Good Studios’ Hemp Linen Culottes
Since 2012, this eco clothing label has earned a loyal following of local, ethically conscious shoppers. Now the world is starting to notice the Adelaide designer, which has found success particularly in Tokyo.
Handmade in small quantities in Adelaide, the linen culottes use premium hemp linen, hemp buttons and recycled zips. For every pair sold, Good Studios will plant a native tree on your behalf.