There’s a basics revolution sweeping through Sydney’s fashion scene, and its epicentre is Bondi. It’s here in Sydney’s most famous beachside suburb that you will find hoardes of girls kitted out in a relaxed, but no less studied, selection of everyday separates. Baseball tees with slim-line chinos, or racerback maxi dresses topped with leather peaked caps, for example – perhaps from Alison Cotton’s Bondi-based label, First Base.
Launched in August last year, First Base aims to distill the elusive magic of well-conceived, well-made basic clothes. Clothes for “your everyday girl who never tries too hard,” says Cotton. “She laughs a lot, loves to get physical and owns way too many pairs of torn jeans.” In short, clothes that both facilitate and accompany a sun-drenched beachside lifestyle.
“I wear basics everyday. It’s my uniform, so it made sense to make stuff that I could fill my wardrobe with and wear time and time again,” Cotton tells us. Her love of surfing and skateboarding infuses the brand with a slick urban styling. “I love the relaxed vibe, gang-like culture and laid-back lifestyle that is surfing,” Cotton says.
First Base is as much influenced by Bondi as it is by streetwear. The suburb’s particular après-surf aesthetic is exactly what First Base’s roster of easygoing separates is all about. “I love that the studio is opposite the beach,” Cotton says. “We meet up in the morning, go to a yoga class and then grab our boards from the studio and go for a surf ... It’s pretty rad.”
The thing about the sports-luxe trend is that it is, essentially, not a trend at all at First Base. “That was just good timing and dumb luck for us,” Cotton agrees. Basic clothes will always be in fashion, so long as there are waves to catch and yoga classes to attend. And in Bondi there are plenty of both to be had. Just make sure you get to First Base first.