The Desert Designs team – spearheaded by Caroline Sundt-Wells and Jedda-Daisy Culley – has paired up with an assortment of creatives to launch the Collector’s Collection. The collaborators, including designer Shannon Malone, milliner Phoebe Woww and artists Doris Gingingara and Trevor Woodward have mined the impressive fabric archive assembled by Desert Designs founder Stephen Culley. The result? A collection of designs featuring original ’80s prints cast in graphic, contemporary shapes. All handmade, all limited edition. “It was a moment waiting to happen,” Sundt-Wells tells us.
“It really was a matter of exploring the rolls of fabric and creating a story with them,” she says, “based on colour and preference in style.” The prints – by Jimmy Pike, Gingingara and Woodward – are characteristic of Desert Designs, with their riotous colour and eye-catching visuals. The range’s update is in its shapes and silhouettes, all of which are decidedly modern. An oversized parka with a striking jagged collar is paired with on-trend Bermuda shorts, and the collection is rounded out with T-shirt dresses, fitted bomber jackets and bucket hats.
After being involved with the Clean Cut project at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the Desert Designs team was drawn towards the sustainability of this project. “All fabric we have used was printed in Australia in the ’80s,” Sundt-Wells says, “some of which only comprised four metres [of fabric].” Each garment in the collection was handmade locally, sustainably and in exclusive quantities, minimising fabric wastage. “The Collector’s Collection has given us an opportunity to create a product that is wholly made in Australia,” she says.
Don’t expect Sundt-Wells, Culley or any other member of the Desert Designs collaborative network to take a break any time soon. Sundt-Wells tells us 2014 will be the year of “exciting projects”. “Desert Designs is based upon collaboration, this will continue to be the backbone of our brand,” she says.
This collection is available exclusively from the Siberian Desert store on Regent Street in Chippendale