Comfy basics, on-trend daywear and sultry silk and lace. Here are some new names in fashion to check out.
The Bare Road
Who better to ask for relaxed basics than two Byron Bay locals? Friends and designers Katie Cook and Ayla Caughey make affordable cotton and linen basics that work for both beach and city living.
The brand’s basic cotton tees and dresses in black, white, grey and stripes are a mainstay. But this season, the biggest sellers are the playsuits and linen jumpsuits. There are also pants and jumpers on offer that will fit into any wardrobe.
Cook and Caughey started selling The Bare Road locally in Byron. Before long, its list of stockists grew across the country. “People think of Byron as hippie and bohemian,” says brand manager Paula Andrea. “But we call the girls’ style barefoot elegance – it’s relaxed, but can fit into the city.”
“We want people to tailor The Bare Road to their own personal style,” says Cook. “We want girls to feel like they’re effortlessly stylish.”
For anyone on the hunt for blogger-style looks at accessible prices, Nice Martin is your answer. Here you’ll find slightly oversized silhouettes, lots of natural fibres and simple separates – the sort of things you wear when you’re traipsing weekend markets with a latte in hand.
Things have come full circle for Nice Martin’s designers Jessica Cadby and Jody Feldhofer, who are split between Bali (where production happens) and Sydney respectively.
The pair looked at bloggers such as Leandra Medine (Man Repeller) and Margaret Zhang (Shine By Three) for inspiration, as well as Paris and Japanese street style. Now bloggers are finding their clothes organically – making items go viral in the process. You might have already seen the label’s billowy shirts and wide-legged jumpsuits on Carmen Hamilton (Chronicles of Her) and (Yan Yan Chan).
“It baffles me and Jody how the influence of one person can make an item sell out,” says Cadby. “Jess and I wear the same pieces so differently, so we want Nice Martin to have pieces that translate well with different personal styles – things you can wear with sneakers, but also dress up with high heels.”
Isabelle Quinn designs for confident, fashion-forward women – you have to embody a certain level of confidence to wear a silk skirt with a thigh high split or exaggerated, cropped flares.
Quinn’s eponymous label favours romantic silks and lace in a monochrome palette. This season, she’s cut the silks into a standout ankle-skimming slip dress with barely there straps. The lace has been made into a pencil skirt and figure-hugging crop top. It’s surprisingly affordable considering the materials, with nothing over $300.
“I started making my own garments in university on a shoestring budget,” Quinn says. “It was initially a hobby which accidentally grew into the business it is today. Now I try to design high-end products that are still attainable.”
Quinn has been designing and selling for three years, but after interest levels piqued last year, she quit her day job to focus solely on her label. “I design for women who take pride in their appearance, who are feminine, yet edgy,” she says. “The woman who is up to date with key trends and looking for the next best thing.”