Miss Unkon could be described as the hippie child of Sydney fashion. She came onto the scene in 2009 at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and since then her free-spirited designs have earned her a regular spots in the festival, in a multitude of Sydney boutiques and in many girls’ wardrobes.
With a few seasons under her braided belt, Miss Unkon has found an identity that reflects designer and owner Courtney Meyer’s own personal beliefs. “I design for girls who like to have fun with fashion. The new collection is all about empowering women,” she says.
Staying true to her romantic, whimsical aesthetic, her spring summer 11/12 Collection, Girls With Kaleidoscope Minds, revolves around the fluid notion of a dream. “A girl’s imagination is a magical thing,” says Meyer. She’s right. From suppressed memories and inner desires to pure fiction, your mind can twist and bend in the most inventive of pathways and take you to places you didn’t even know existed. With her free flowing, lace-heavy designs, Meyer invites her wearers to live the excitement of dreams, taking on a character dependent only on their mood and whim.
The Girls With Kaleidoscope Minds look book reads like a picture book. Illustrations creep into the photos, blurring the line between reality and fiction. First our heroine appears almost nymph-like, draped in lace among pink hued mountains, then as a siren screaming at the turquoise ocean in a billowing lilac dress. These garments are highly feminine and created to layer.
Miss Unkon may come across as a little girly and young, but her business aesthetic is strong and her talent is clear. She’s self-taught, taking inspiration from everyday life and asking for help when she needs it.
She matter-of-factly advocates idealistic sentiments that most fashion designers abandoned years ago. “The philosophy behind the label is about making a difference to people…creatively and emotionally,” says Meyer. “We want to make a difference in the world.”
It sounds a little naïve at first, but close to her heart is a strong social conscience that manifests in a number of ways. Firstly, the protection of our furry friends means Miss Unkon uses no animal products – no leather, no feathers and certainly no fur (except faux fur). The brand also supports and participates in the Amira project, an organisation that throws parties designed to boost young girls’ self-esteem.
If that wasn’t enough, Miss Unkon has also worked on a line with Sportsgirl for their final designer collaboration for 2011, creating a capsule collection of seven pieces, each reflecting the essence of her brand and incorporating a vintage floral fabric specifically designed for the range.
The name Miss Unkon references the Swedish spelling of ‘unconventional’, and you can see snippets of this shine through in the work. We’re keen to see where this idealistic young designer’s dreams will take her next.
Miss Unkon’s SS 11/12 collection Girls With Kaleidoscope Minds is available at local boutiques and online. The Miss Unkon Capsule Collection has just hit Sportsgirl stores.