10 of the Best Australian Fashion Collaborations of Recent Times

Here at Australian Fashion Review, it is a long-term goal of ours to share with our readers the best our wonderful fashion industry has to offer. It’s an industry that is constantly expanding to bigger and better things, so we have to go that extra mile to ensure that we are keeping you up to date with the best resources at your disposal. The blogosphere is no longer a mystery, thanks to our feature on the best Australian bloggers, and created the perfect guides on where to shop for your favourtie Aussie labels, both online and in-store.

But wait, there’s more…a few seasons ago we started creating our very own trend edits, which are must reads for any discerning fashionista and fashionisto. Most recently we have brought you the must have menswear, womenswear and swimwear trends for Spring/Summer 2012-2013, to make sure that our readers see the season through in style.

Still, we wanted to go one step further to really show what the Australian fashion industry really has to offer. When a top Australian label combines with another brand, the resultant collaboration is so often greater than the sum of its parts – so we thought we would share with you the top Australian fashion collaborations of recent times…

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations

bassike x Havaianas (2010)

Back in 2010, bassike teamed up with iconic thong sandal brand, Havaianas to create the must have summer accessory. The thongs are a simple black and white design, which adheres to the minimalist aesthetic of bassike. Perfect for a day at the beach, the collaboration was unveiled at the Spring/Summer 2010 Rosemount Fashion Week (now Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) and became a sell-out once it made the move from catwalk to shelf.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - bassike x Havaianas

Graz x Ellery (2010)

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Graz x Ellery

In 2010, Australian cult eyewear label Graz, joined forces with fashion-forward womenswear brand Ellery to create sleek cat-eye frames that came in two chic colourways – black patent and classic tortoiseshell, both with grey gradient lenses. The limited edition frames were unveiled on the catwalk at Ellery’s Spring/Summer 2009-2010 runway show to instant critical acclaim. Additionally, to celebrate the collaboration, a short film and series of photographs by David Mandelberg were exhibited during Fashion Week in Sydney.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Graz x Ellery 02

Dion Lee x Cue (2011)

Impressed by their retail work, iconic Australian designer Dion Lee sent high street brand Cue an email suggesting a partnership. The resultant collaboration was one of the finest of Australia’s High Street x High End match-ups, proving to be a balance between contemporary and classic style. The work wear inspired diffusion line is a more casual take on the Dion Lee signature sharp line and consists of outerwear, tailoring, office-wear separates and leather LBD’s, with a focus on Lee’s trademark cut-outs, canvas and utility details.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Dion Lee x Cue 01

The colour palette is typically muted – black, white and khaki is interspersed with pops of royal blue and rich berry. Stand-out pieces include, a classic blazer with edgy slashed sleeves; a spliced leather dress with subtle, innovative cut-aways; and a sophisticated trench coat with floating yoke.

Speaking of the covetable collection Dion said: “I think it’s interesting to collaborate with a larger company and to align yourself with brands with similar values. It introduces my work to a new market, which has to be positive…The pieces are not a watered down version of my own products – it’s an additional capsule.”

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Dion Lee x Cue 02

Sportsgirl x Antipodium (2011)

In September of 2011, Australian retail giant Sportsgirl joined forces with London-based fashion label Antipodium. Initially, it may seem like an odd pairing, but it starts to make sense when you consider that the duo behind Antipodium, Geoffrey J. Finch and Ashe Peacock, both grew up in small Australian towns. The capsule line, entitled ‘Field Day’, is inspired by the by the East London music festival of the same name, as well as, Antipodium’s Australian roots.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Sportsgirl x Antipodium 01

The collaboration features plenty of sportswear- inspired shapes, with a nostalgic school yard twist brining a sense of humour. Stand out pieces of the line include, a cute tartan pinafore with relaxed playful silhouette; hooded burgundy parka with cropped sleeves; and a paisley print mini shift dress. For a cheeky touch, Finch created a new print for the collection entitled ‘mandana’, which hides his own bespectacled face within its pattern.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Sportsgirl x Antipodium 02

Bec & Bridge x Akubra (2011)

Once the must have hat of the 1980’s, the Akubra trilby had fell firmly off the fashion radar two decades ago, only to make a massive comeback in 2011, when they teamed up with womenswear label Bec & Bridge in 2011. The resultant piece is the Bianca Adventurer, a timeless fedora made contemporary with five vibrant custom-coloured felts – Blush, Lilac, Khaki, Magenta and Dove Grey.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Bec & Bridge x Akubra

Unveiled at the 2011 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and soon snapped up by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Laura Bingle, the Bianca Adventurer is inspired by the ever stylish Bianca Jagger and Lauren Hutten in the late 1970s. Bec & Bridge designers, Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston said of the pair-up: “Collaborating with Akubra seemed like such a natural fit when we came up with the idea of a 1970’s style fedora for summer. It has been exciting to work with an iconic Australian brand and given us a new appreciation for hand craftsmanship.”

Vanishing Elephant x Stussy (2011)

The Spring/Summer 2011-2012 season saw Australian menswear label Vanishing Elephant team up with legendary street wear label, Stussy. The ten-piece capsule collection combines the classic aesthetic of Vanishing elephant with the laid back vibe of Stussy, to create punchy prints and casual silhouettes. The line consists of trousers, tees, shirts, shorts, backpacks and even a stylish pair of brogues.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Vanishing Elephant x Stussy 01

Vanishing Elephant designer Felix Chan, said of the collaboration: “We love the heritage and history of Stussy, it’s iconic street wear. So we really wanted keep the aesthetics casual and combine some of our classic silhouettes. It was a compromise and combination of both of our classic shapes whilst incorporating some colour, print and embellishments like embroideries …We really wanted to keep the prints colourful, playful and incorporate some sense of nature.”

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Vanishing Elephant x Stussy 02

Henson x Song For The Mute (2012)

Often the best collaborations come from long-time friendships. The same is true for the joining of forces of accessories label Henson and menswear visionaries Song For The Mute, for their second jewellery collection for the Spring/Summer 2012-2013 season. Andy Henson explains: “The first collaboration was more experimental and conceptual and was designed specifically for that particular season, whereas this time we wanted to achieve a more timeless, classic look that reflected the clothes in a more linear way.”

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Henson x Song For the Mute 01

The resultant capsule is an ingenious interpretation of one of Song For The Mute’s design signatures – an over-lock stitch that is present on most of the brand’s pieces. Continuing with Song For The Mute’s dark aesthetic, burnished brass and blackened silver give an aggressive masculine edge that still complements the label’s Paper Hands line. The unisex jewellery line in in store now.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Henson x Song For the Mute 02

Rittenhouse x Peopke x Lucas Grogan (2012)

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Rittenhouse x Peopke x Lucas Grogan

For their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection womenswear brand, Rittenhouse teamed up with Melbourne based artist, Lucas Grogan to create a range of covetable pieces. Grogan’s artworks have been reworked onto to Rittenhouse dresses, skirts, shorts and t-shirts, as well as a range of enviable accessories, including a bags and scarves. To celebrate the launch of the collaboration, Rittenhouse asked Lucas to create a mural in the window of Peopke in Paddington, see below for a video of it’s creation, entitled ‘Where have You Been All My Life?”

Ksubi Eyewear x Richard Nicoll (2012)

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Ksubi Eyewear x Richard Nicoll 01

For the Summer 2012 season, cult Australian street wear label Ksubi teamed up up with world renowned designer Richard Nicoll to create a limited edition capsule collection of directional sunglasses. The uber cool collaboration is based on Henri Georges Clouzot’s unfinished 1966 ‘Masterpiece L’enfer’: “Approaching the idea of taking classic cat’s eye and 1950-60’s shapes, the capsule offers architecturally strong lines softened with reflective surfaces and chain detailing…The monochromatic colour palette is reminiscent of Clouzot’s French 60’s cinematography while glossed styles are carefully outlined with metallic hues. Chrome and mirrored lenses are nostalgic yet directional.”

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Ksubi Eyewear x Richard Nicoll 02

Gorman x Rhys Lee (2012)

In September of 2012, long time friends, fashion designer Lisa Gorman and artist Rhys Lee, put their creative caps on and created a capsule collection that injects Rhys’ distinctive colour pallete of pinks, blues and sorbet pastels onto the covetable designs from Gorman. Adding to the continued tribal theme of the Summer 2012-2013 offering from Gorman, the twenty-one piece limited edition collection features six of Lee’s cheerful prints, from rainbow droplets, to geometric diamonds, to a quirky hand print.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Gorman x Rhys Lee 01

Silks and cottons are moulded into oversized button-ups, t-shirts, pants, skirts and dresses that swish, all of which are available in store and online now. Lisa said of the experience: “I feel privileged to do collaborations with artists and Rhys in particular, because as a clothing brand it can be so two-dimensional – it’s season on season and month on month and there’s no stopping. It’s quite a treadmill. So it’s really lovely for me to step off that and start to do things like this.”

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Gorman x Rhys Lee 02

Elke Kramer x Colab Eyewear (2012)

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Elke Kramer x Colab 01

For Summer 2012-2013, renowned Australian jewellery designer Elke Kramer joined forces with eyewear brand Colab, to create three limited edition frames – one for men and two for women, with each pair coming in a number of colour ways, including black and tortoiseshell. Elke said of the collaboration, which was her first foray into sunglasses design: “They [Colab] gave me complete creative freedom, which was amazing. I wanted to make glasses that I wanted to wear and silhouettes that weren’t readily available. Concept-wise, I was inspired by the provocative and dark poetry of Baudelaire, hence the names of the three frames: Le Vin, Revolte and Le Mort.”

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Elke Kramer x Colab 02

And now for something a little different…

Melbourne Metal Collective

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Melbourne Metal  Collective 01

Jewellery designer Hamish Munro as part of Melbourne Metal Collective

The Melbourne Metal Collective is an innovative organisation that was setup to help promote independent Melbourne-based jewellery designers by showcasing their work, through an artist-run platform. The talent jewellery designers on their books is ever expanding an evolving, and with the Collective having regular exhibitions, group shoes, pop-up stores and organising collaborations, the profile of these designers is sure to improve. Additionally, the Melbourne Metal Collection has it’s own website, offering the most up-to-date information on participating designers, as well as, offering an e-commerce platform where customers can purchase pieces directly from the designer.

Top Australian Fashion Collaborations - Melbourne Metal  Collective 02

Jewellery label Maripossa as part of Melbourne Metal Collective

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