While the Mediterranean has long been a muse for artists and fashion creators, Covid lockdown seems to have accentuated our love for the carefree lifestyle of Europe’s seaside towns and beaches. For Amelia Mercoulia, the founder and designer of sustainable Melbourne swimwear label Baaby, it’s the inspiration for her latest collection, Olympia 2021.
Olympia, though, isn’t for jumping in the ocean – it’s a range of women’s apparel. Mercoulia added clothing to Baaby’s range earlier this year, introducing pieces made predominantly with dead stock (old, unused fabric) at either her Melbourne studio or local factories.
“The Olympia collection is colourful and carefree,” Mercoulia tells Broadsheet. “I have approached it with Baaby’s sustainable ethos in mind, creating garments that are all made locally from natural-fibre fabric, such as organic cotton, linen and silk. The collection is playful and versatile, with many interchangeable outfits, and is aimed to inspire us to feel bright and buoyant during this unique and serious time.”
If you’re a sucker for sets, you’ll be into the fairy floss-coloured drill trousers paired with a matching square-necked top with lace-up back. They’re made from 100 per cent cotton – just like the puff-sleeve shirt, which comes in peach or “Mediterranean check”, and its harmonising shin-length skirt. Earlier this year, Mercoulia also released a striking trouser-shirt set in black-and-white gingham linen.
“People love wearing both together – it’s such a statement outfit. The Yin Yang top has also been one of the best sellers. It’s unique and the fabric is beautiful – a thick rib that is knitted in Melbourne,” she says.
There’s also leopard slip dress in silk, and a cute shiny ruffle dress the colour of the sky. The Baaby Olympia collection also includes terry-towelling pieces – a tennis dress in pink and powder blue, as well as shorts and shirts. The soon-to-launch men’s range features collared terry-towelling shirts and shorts in blue and green.
Of course, this doesn’t signal an end to Baaby’s swimwear range. There will be new designs in the coming months, all made with Baaby’s signature Econyl – a recycled nylon imported from Italy.
The Olympia range launches at 6pm on Monday October 18.