Of all the shows that took place during New York Fashion Week, Zimmermann’s Fall 2016 show was one that really stood out for me. Known for it’s dreamy take on the luxury bohemian aesthetic, and for it’s top- notch swimwear and leather, Zimmermann has become one of the few globally recognized brands to emerge from Australia in the past two decades. It’s boldly feminine, opulent sophistication has developed a strong consumer following worldwide, garnering the brand a hoard of celebrity fans.
This season, head designer sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann focused on the traditional dress of India, paying particular attention to the bold colours, elaborate surface treatments and relaxed silhouettes typified by their inspirational source. The Zimmermann sisters have previously shown their penchant for all things ornate, yet this season’s theme gave them the ability to indulge their fondness for sparkle to even greater effect. “Mirror Mirror” was the name given to their Fall 2016 offering and true to it’s name, the collection was full of reflective finishes, glossy fabrics and sparkling adornments.
It’s a striking offering, with almost every look featuring some form of eye-catching embellishment: trailing fringes, glimmering appliqués, swirling prints, and metallic embroidery to name just a few. Ornate embellishments made of tiny pieces of mirror are a traditional aspect of Indian dress, and the Zimmermann sisters explored this element in detail by working minuscule bits of mirror throughout the collection. All of this, paired with lots of shimmering lurex and glimmering metallic lace, created a collection that perfectly reflected light from every angle.
Zimmermann’s signature minidresses with flared sleeves and flounced hems were redone in punchy shades of pink, orange and rose gold, while their floaty khaftans and slouched pantsuits were updated with glittering fabrics and excessively long, trailing fringes. There were diaphanous skirts and maxidresses in foil-printed gauze, vividly- patterned pantsuits, glittering tunics, fleece sweaters with bell shaped sleeves, brightly hued jackets, billowing blouses of patterned chiffon and mirror speckled dresses of perforated eyelet silk. Bomber jackets and fluid wide-legged trousers done in mannish pinstripes and rich Eastern inspired patterns added a definite cool factor- especially when paired with printed leggings, patterned boots and layers of shimmering jewelry.
Elaborate ornamentation and bright colours are cornerstones of Indian dress, and Zimmermann’s show was a fresh take of the theme. By pairing all of the adornments with shimmery fabrics and wild prints, they produced a youthful, playfully feminine approach to the hyper-deocrative Indian style. While the end result was not as complex as it’s inspiration, it was definitely, extraordinarily appealing.
Zimmermann is known for having a bit of Victorian polish in it’s collections, with high necklines, tight sleeves and plenty of girly frills, and body- conscious silhouettes. It’s Spring show was full of flirty full-skirted minidresses with corset-like waists, restrictive necklines and tight sleeves, details that were noticeably absent from this season’s jaunt. “It’s about optimism,” Nicky Zimmermann explained, “We wanted to loosen up.” And so they did as Fall 2016 was all about fluid, body- skimming silhouettes, soft shapes and floating details. Everything was about movement- or rather freedom of movement. From the slouchy trousers to the voluminous maxi dresses and rippling capes, each piece emphasized sinuous eye-catching motions that made as much of a statement from the back as they did the front.
My major critique has to do with the show’s styling and presentation. Even though it was a runway show where visual impact is important, it was necessary to ensure that this impact didn’t become too much. With so much going on with the clothing, the seemingly endless slew of glitter, fringe, and shine quickly became overwhelming- especially when the designers veered into the overly girly and saccharine territories as with a range of mirror embellished metallic lace dresses topped with frilly capelets and stacks of sparkling chokers. It was too much, and throughout the show there were looks that I think would have benefited greatly from editing and re-styling.
But, I still really enjoyed the show. It was vibrant, gorgeously crafted and playfully youthful. People who love anything sparky and bright will immediately be drawn to this collection and looking through the show, there really was something for everyone to be found within the lineup. There are some beautiful pieces that would easily fit into anyone’s wardrobe, adding a little glamour and cool girl pep into even the simplest of outfits.
I’ve always been a fan of Zimmermann and this show only solidified my fondness for their garments- especially since there’s a printed bomber with my name on it!
Xx – Ana