When done well, cross-brand collaboration marries the best of two worlds. Case in point: eclectic interiors retailer Fenton & Fenton’s recent partnership with newly founded Aussie fashion label Antipodean – known for its painterly prints and colourful embroidery.

Wabi Sabi – a capsule collection of homewares and ready-to-wear fashion – is the second team-up for Fenton & Fenton creative director Lucy Fenton and Antipodean designer Dani Milojevic, who previously worked together on their Life in Colour print.

A year in the making, the range leans into the Japanese phrase it’s named after – which embraces the art of imperfection – by playing with natural fabrics, raw details, hand-finished touches and mismatched motifs. Find playful kimono dresses, bomber jackets, silky pants and bath robes among quilted sheets, cushions, armchairs, tablecloths and vintage glassware.

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It’s so interesting to see fashion and homewares come together. What aligns both of your brands?
LF: It’s an interesting intersection and I hope it’s something that we can continue to see more of because these worlds don’t collide as much as they could. Our brands are very aligned in terms of inspiration – we’re both inspired by our love of colour and travel. But then also in the production, Dani works a lot with factories in India and so do we at Fenton & Fenton. We’re both quite boutique and want to have things that are produced in limited numbers – buy once, buy well type of thing.

How did you translate the concept of Wabi Sabi through the collection?
DM: I was listening to a podcast and heard “wabi sabi”. I Googled it and a few phrases came up that just stood out to me. It meant embracing the beauty in imperfection and I feel that you could really apply that to life, interiors, clothing.

LF: I love the concept so much because it’s all about finding joy in the little moments. In Dani’s pieces you find those little hidden things, rough seams and it looks unfinished, but that’s how it’s meant to be – it actually takes a lot of work to get that. We also love like introducing vintage pieces in our collection and mixing old with new.

How was the process of designing the collection?
LF: From the beginning, Dani had a series of a different prints she had drawn up and we sat down together and chose the one that resonated the most for Fenton. We both then went away and created our collections separately using the same artwork.

Can you tell me a bit more about the Antipodean pieces?
DM: I always choose natural fibres, that’s something really important to me. All of our India pieces use certified dyes which are good for the earth. Usually, I design my hero print first which was Wabi Sabi. There are physical patches on the print that have been topstitched and frayed back. I feel like people aren’t bringing that level of detail and intricacy into the print world for apparel. The other prints have elements of nature – it’s all just random motifs but somehow it works.

What about the Fenton & Fenton range?
LF: We used a lot of 100 per cent linen. Our range includes napery where we’ve drawn elements out so it’s not all using the same hero print. We’ve got a range of bedding, some limited-edition art prints and upholstery using some of our current chair models. We’ve also tied in vintage pieces which have always been a part of the Fenton & Fenton DNA. There are retro decanters, a vintage armchair and other small artefacts.

What was your inspiration behind the collections?
DM: We [both] definitely leant into a Japanese theme. You’ve got cranes in the artwork flying through an ombre sky. [For me], a common theme throughout every collection is designing from a place of escapism.

How would you style the pieces in your home and wardrobe?
LF: It’s all about layers, definitely. You could have it really pared back and be clean-line or go full maximalist and layer everything, and either way works.

DM: Multi-wear is really important when I’m designing as well. You can wear the mesh [Gathered] top underneath the mini dress or you could layer it over the top of the Wrap dress and wear it open.

This article first appeared in Domain Review, in partnership with Broadsheet.