Many Australian designers have sought out like-minded creative partners to develop one-off products or limited-edition collections.
These are our favourite collaborations available now.
Gorman x Atelier Bingo
Lisa Gorman is no stranger to collaborations. Gorman has done 48 of them with artists and designers over the years, and the label’s collection with French artist duo Atelier Bingo is the latest.
Atelier Bingo’s Maxime Prou and Adèle Favreau were heavily involved in the design process, from consulting on the colour, scale and placement of prints on garments at the sketching stage and to examining prints on base cloths, to reviewing garment samples.
Gorman says, “I’d been aware of Atelier Bingo’s work for a while; it was a matter of finding the right time to collaborate. Their artwork said high summer for me. It’s so graphically strong and has a clarity of form that works well on clean cotton poplins, jersey and denim.” There are also sequinned and beaded pieces that make the designs appear to jump off the fabric.
The collection consists of Gorman’s signature loose, boxy shapes: swing dresses, pleated midi skirts, graphic drawstring-waist shorts and lightweight rain jackets.
Twoobs x Bondi Bather
It takes ingenuity to launch a brand with a marketing budget of $500, but sisters Jess and Stef Dadon of the lifestyle blog How Two Live have limitless ideas.
At New York fashion week in April, they launched their platform-sandal range, Twoobs. They had a fashion show on the street outside an official fashion-week venue in minus-10-degree weather. There were swimsuit-clad models lounging on beach chairs and dancing with hula hoops. It was a big hit.
Twoobs’s first collaboration is with Bondi Bather. Stef says, “It makes sense because we have really similar brand values. Bondi Bather is beachy and about being relaxed and having fun.”
There are two styles in the Bondi Bather collaboration, each named for a pair of best friends chosen from the sisters’ legions of Instagram followers. Mary // Kayla is a navy platform sandal with a white memory foam sole. Rosa // Lily is a printed version that matches a Bondi Bather swimsuit.
Shibori x Karmme
Imby Langenbach of Karmme was hunting for a particular indigo-and-white fabric to line her clutches with when she first came across Shibori Textiles in Stanmore.
“As soon as I walked into the workshop, I felt this instant connection with [owners Pepa Martin and Karen Davis].” Davis was working with a chemist to develop a leather dye when Langenbach visited a second time. “Karen was refining the leather technique, and I thought, ‘Maybe I can play with this bit of leather and see what I can do?’ says Langenbach. “The first shibori clutch came out of that experiment.”
Since then Karmme and Shibori have collaborated on three collections of clutches. Glacial and Azure are in traditional shibori indigo and white; Dream, Strength and Belief come in black and white; and Blush and Bloom come in pink and grey. There’s also a tote called Smoke, dyed in a combination of black, white and grey.
“We work together in such a relaxed and organic way. Karen seems to be able to execute what’s in my head. It comes out so beautifully.”
Kip & Co x John Olsen
None of the three founders of Kip & Co began their professional lives in creative jobs. Alex van der Sluys was a lawyer; Kate Heppell was an accountant, and her sister, Hayley Pannekoecke, was a naturopath. They had in common a drive to create, and after testing a few business ideas they launched Kip & Co in 2012 with 10 bedding products.
Exquisite, jewel-coloured resin-and-brass cutlery is part of Kip & Co’s summer 2016 season. The cutlery range was launched in collaboration with Melbourne’s Art House Hotel group’s Olsen Hotel. The launch event celebrated Australian artist John Olsen’s latest exhibition, You Beaut Country at the National Gallery of Victoria.
During the lunch, van der Sluys explains, “Olsen held court, talking about life and what it means to be Australian. He spoke about Australian landscapes … and said the cutlery on the table was a beautiful landscape in itself.”
Kollab x Leah Bartholomew
Kollab’s business ethos is based on collaboration. The brand works with designers and artists to create affordable beach bags, lunch bags and homewares.
Founder Hayley Barrett says, “We’re trying to bring what’s fashionable in fashion into the home, instead of offering what’s fashionable in homewares.”
Collaboration choices are led by fashion, print trends and colour palettes. Kollab recently worked with Queensland artist Leah Bartholomew on the Summer Forest range. It combines organic and graphic shapes, and the colour palette is pastel pink and blue, accented with copper and gold.