Friday, April 20, 2012

The designers: Camilla - MBFWA Spring/Summer 12/13 preview

camilla franks SS1213 lookbook/justin ridler
Are Australians renowned for their love of colour? You bet. We live surrounded by surf, sun, sand, The Great Barrier Reef, Rainbow Lorikeets and the red earth of the outback and this seems to be reflected in much of the clothing we wear. Picking up where legendary Australian designers Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee left off back in the 1980s, Camilla Franks, Sydney's co-called 'kaftan queen', is responsible for some of this country's most dazzling resortwear. On Monday 30th April Franks will present the biggest show of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, when she showcases her Spring/Summer 2012/2013 'Gypset' collection on 42 models. Here is an exclusive preview of six styles from her SS1213 lookbook shot by Justin Ridler on Ollie Henderson and Kendall Walters.

The collection's name is a hybrid of the words gypsy and jet-setter and the hippy de luxe pieces are named after such cult Sixties music figures as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and model Veruschka. Bohemian Mexican artist Frida Kahlo also gets a lookin. But Kahlo presumably falls into the gypsy, as distinct from the jetseterati, camp, since she died in 1953 - having spent more than half of her 47 years as an invalid.

Franks worked as television commercial and music video producer and actor before turning her hand to fashion in 2004. She quickly gained a cult following for her psychedelic kaftans made from striking original prints. But ready-to-wear is a rapidly growing component of her business and 80 percent of the Gypset collection - some 300 pieces in total - is comprised of ready-to-wear pieces such as dresses, trousers, playsuits, shorts and kimonos. Over 35 prints are featured. Franks is also introduced swimwear this season. 

Franks' Camilla label is sold through highend department stores and hotels the world over, in addition to her own six standalone Australian boutiques and her celebrity following includes Rihanna, Kate Hudson and Beyonce (who appears in several shots on her new Tumblr in Camilla kaftans). 

Not forgetting, of course, Oprah Winfrey, who fell in love with the Camilla label during her late 2010 Australian tour and has since commissioned two exclusive capsule collections from Franks.

all images supplied exclusively to frockwriter by camilla franks


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