You'll probably never ever see so much swim and beachwear concentrated on to one Style Bubble page at the same time ever again. That said, not to point out the obvious but I am in Sydney, city of sun, sand and surf. Where I may have previously eschewed this intrinsic part of Australian fashion, in lieu of my pathetic beach rejecting body, I now wholly embrace and am in awe of the the sun worshipping aspect of this city and the sartorial rituals that go with that. For instance this is a country that has a healthy and buoyant holiday set, and they love a good beach cover-up. Camilla Franks' caftan business has been thriving for seven years serving a set of women, who like to waft around on beaches in swathes of extroverted printed chiffon. Franks is something of a fashion personality in Australia and her shows reflect her larger than life (in spirit not in size) presence. Therefore so it is that Camilla, an admittedly not very Style Bubble brand, graces this post, as their extravagant show visuals couldn't really be beat in the scheme of Australian fashion week.
In the centre of Centennial Park smoke was rising from a grouping of teepee tents and as we approached, we were greeted by the lethal combination of animals and cute kids. Lethal as in it's pretty hard not to fall for that sort of instagram/photo bait. Those curly and floppy haired boys and girls were selling in Camilla's psychedelic prints chiming in with the cushions, rugs and lampshades, which were suspended from the trees. An alpaca, a boobook and a barn owl and a cockatoo were supposedly part of Camilla's Mother Nature cast of characters to better illustrate how at one we can be with animalia if we're floating around in a caftan. I did bump into the alpaca purposely to see how it would react. It was perfectly content with munching on grass and didn't mind being petted endlessly. I'll leave Camilla to do the talking to talk up her connection with Mother Nature…
"This collection is born directly from my personal journey as I reconnect with Mother Nature, or as the Incas called her Pachamama. I feel that there is a movement taking us back to Mother Nature, back to where we belong."
What does this all mean? Well, a lot of cultural "borrowing" for a start and a few Colours of the Wind-esque allusions that can be drawn from prints inspired by the "colourful wildlife in flight" or "skies above the Amazon rainforest" and "The Promised Land". You could be stony faced about all of this. Except by then you would have already been swayed by the cute alpaca, the smiley Camilla-clad group of blondes and of course those kids, who were the perfect persuasive bait for everyone to melt at the sight of them. Georgia May Jagger was exclusively flown in for the show (it can be deduced that yes, Camilla shifts a LOT of caftans) and closed it, doing a lap of victory with the inimitable Camilla.
I still don't quite know how to reconcile this cacophony of South American and Indian journey with what are actually well-made and well-crafted garments. A few people commented "Oh my god this is so Coachella" and you weren't quite sure whether they meant that as a compliment or not. In all honest it's the show set-up and creative execution courtesy of Mark Vassallo, which saw this show through. Not selling it into you? Oh well, just call it my excuse to put a picture of an alpaca (the animal, not the bi-product wool) on the blog.