Cubist Bangle Stack \ $69.95
Pioneer Tote \$550
Mimco recently teamed with Australian model Jessica Gomes for its spring/summer 2012 collection, photographed in Palm Springs, California.
Gomes is photographed standing beside a white Thunderbird, leaning on a bar in a wide-brimmed hat and stranded on the side of the road (right) in dreamy vintage shots that blend glamour with the sparse desert surroundings.
Mimco’s creative and commercial director Cathryn Wills – who has been with the brand for the past six years and heads the unique accessories label – says the new campaign is all about bringing back the glamour of old-world cinema to Australian fashion.
Titled Kaleidoscope Cinematopia, the new range of bags, shoes and accessories nods to acreen sirens, embraces art-deco cues, has a dash of ’20s styling and even looks to Pablo Picasso for a cubist touch.
“There is always a smorgasbord of inspiration behind our collections,” admits Wills, who says Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter have influenced the latest season’s direction.
Pablo Hip Bag \ $349
“I also saw a couple of Picasso paintings and thought about him as a man and an artist and how influential he was. And after watching the Coco Chanel film with Audrey Tautou I thought how wonderful it would be to bring these two visionaries together and morph their style influences.”
Add to this decadent brief the period of baroque (in Wills’ case think ancient India and vintage Bollywood) and you get the idea that Wills is on a crusade for extravagance and classicism.
Gabrielle Court Shoe \$299
“There are lot of influences,” she says. “But what tied it all together was the theme of nostalgia modernised. It sounds hectic, but getting excited about a pile of visual and mood influences is a big part of the fun.”
Before joining the Mimco team, Wills worked in retail and for brands such as Benetton and Country Road. She says those early days laid the foundations that she still applies to her design ethic.
“The customer is the most important part of retail. Dealing with customers at Benetton, managing a team, balancing the takings at the end of day and conveying product knowledge to our customers were all important skills I took from my retail years.
“Benetton also taught me to become an expert in knitwear folding and colour blocking.
“Country Road was the birth of my love for knitwear. I was blessed to work with exceptionally experienced and talented people within the knitwear team and learnt the full gamut of this very technical category.”
Wills flies to London, New York, Paris and Tokyo on a regular basis. She says Hong Kong feels like her second home. But it’s working closely with her design team that brings career satisfaction.
“A business the size of Mimco can never be about one person. The sum of parts is absolutely stronger than the power of one. It’s about cross-pollination, shared influences and knowledge, laughter, creativity and music – all makes for good product."
“I think more clearly when I’m relaxed, and while my relaxed is still a fairly rapid-fire approach, it’s about being happy and free to ponder, dream and create.”
Channel 1920s art deco, baroque and Rat Pack cool – this season’s accessories, handbags and shoes glow under a kaleidoscope of colour with Mimco’s latest collection.
African-born designer Timi Onduku-Pedley runs her own fashion label Timi Alaere (which translates to “woman of substance”). In her first collection SS12, titled Afrizine, she’s all about freeflowing fabrics, bold colours, hand-illustrated prints and eco-friendly jersey pieces.
Clutch bag \ $89
We love limited-edition runs, bags that have a personality of their own and come with curious detailing. Molten Relic’s Confetti Days Clutch in neon pink is a combination of playful wool fringing and cute pom-poms – no two bags are the same, and we love the embroidered bead touch, too.
D-Lux scarf \ $165
The subtle floral ambience of this D-Lux scarf is ideal for the upcoming spring. We love this luxury yarn for its soft petal direction. What’s more, this Australian label also makes items for men and babies, too.