If Willy Wonka made clothes instead of candy, we think the pieces might look something like the garments in designer Edwina Sinclair’s Brisbane-based label, Soot’s SS14/15 collection.
“I started the label just after I finished school. I wouldn’t say that it was serious, I was just designing and selling to friends. It all happened organically,” says Sinclair, who is now 22, having graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion from Queensland University of Technology.
Sinclair’s hand-knitted garments, daisy bubble dresses and teardrop-printed onesies are like the marvellous imaginings of a child’s mind brought to life. The sweetness, which can be cloying at times, is contrasted with pared-back angular silhouettes that add edge and versatility to the garments.
“I’m pretty into texture. I think it’s because I have full control of what the garment is going to look like,” says Sinclair of developing the hand-sewn, three-dimensional fabrics that make Soot garments so unique. Sinclair’s previous collection, Pop, was filled with kooky knitted bubble dresses and hats that were made up of stuffed, hand-knitted spheres. These avant-garde, textural and three-dimensional pieces instantly became the fixation of numerous fashion websites, magazines and blogs.
“The final year of uni really helped me to define my aesthetic and what my future collections will hold,” explains Sinclair. The new collection, Splash, uses a colour palette of dusty pink, blue, lemon and pistachio. For inspiration, Sinclair looked at a lot of 1930s beach, loungewear and vintage pyjamas. “I’m all for comfort, so I think that had a lot to do with it,” she says. Comfort never looked so good than in these elasticised, sheared-silk shorts, bell-sleeved T-shirts and flared onesies.
The teardrop, seedling, and A-OK hand-gesture prints all come from emoticons. “I really like emojis. I wanted the collection to be playful,” says Sinclair, who also collaborated with her sister on a line of emoji jewellery to sit alongside the collection.