I'm low-key obsessed with Australian fashion brands. It might have a little something to do with the fact that summer dresses are my absolute favourite fashion items, though make no mistake, Aussie labels offer far more than just a great capsule holiday wardrobe.
Brands such as Aje and Bondi Born have branched out into great occasionwear, tailoring and outerwear for the colder months, making them perfect all-rounders. So I thought I'd share my go-to Australian fashion brands so you can fall in love with them to. Just bear in mind their seasons are the opposite of ours, so if shopping directly on their websites, it's good to plan a few months ahead.
Matteau's ethos is 'less is more'. It designs items that are meant to last a lifetime, rather than be disposed of with the changing of the seasons, whether that's the ultimate black triangle bikini or a floaty summer dress. The design process is considered too, with a priority on sourcing materials from regenerative, organic, renewable and recycled sources, with a commitment to fostering biodiversity through our material choices.
MATTEAU The Voluminous Folk organic cotton and silk-blend maxi dress - £483 at Net-A-Porter
Matteau's dress is made from organic cotton and mulberry silk that feels so light and soft against the skin. It's designed in a voluminous silhouette and has airy pointelle trims tracing the breezy sleeves.
Launched at Australian Fashion Week in 2019, BONDI BORN is inspired by contemporary Australian style. Founders Dale McCarthy and Creative Director Karla Clarke create elevated swimwear and summer apparel underpinned by a commitment to uncompromising quality, ethics and sustainable practices.
The label sources only the finest quality, eco-certified fabrics from the world’s leading mills and makes every garment using premium local craftsmanship in Sydney. Its swimwear is recognised worldwide for its pared-back, elegant silhouettes, expertly cut from our unique, technically advanced swim fabrics that enhance and flatter the female form.
Founded in 2008 by best friends Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest, Aje is one of the contemporary Australian fashion brands offering a curated mix of effortless essentials and stand out, occasion pieces, each crafted with luxurious sensibilities. The design duo are grounded in their mutual love of the arts - Adrian trained at the acclaimed Liceo Artistico Venezia Venetian and Edwina held a tenure at leading fashion title, RUUSH - creating collections that are recognised for signature statement pieces, the use of volume, raw edges, hand cast hardware and unique detailing.
The label’s latest offering, ‘Sequence’ is inspired by the concept of maths in nature, grounded in the Butterfly Effect or ‘Chaos Theory’; inspiring prints of cascading flora, butterfly-like details constructed in silk linen blends and organza. hand painted waterfall ombrés, precise cut outs and elaborate pintuck pleating in grand silhouettes – pieces designed for the wearer to make waves in their life and those of others.
Lee Mathews established her namesake womenswear label in 2000 with the belief that she should simply make good things. Driven by the philosophy of designing clothing that resonates deeply with people's lives, Lee Mathews delivers seasonal mainline, workroom and accessories collections with a focus on quality, craftsmanship and design integrity. Lee Mathews is based in Sydney with four Australian retail locations as well as a flagship digital location online.
Faithfull the Brand
Founded in Indonesia in 2012, Faithfull the Brand - one of the most well-known Australian fashion brands - has care, quality and authenticity weaved into its fabric. From day one, co-directors, Sarah-Jane Abrahams and Helle Them-Enger have collaborated with Bali’s best manufacturers to create their hand-made garments, and have continued to live and work closely with their local community ever since.
At the heart of the brand are thoughtfully produced designs that evoke a sense of summer and a spirit of travel. Faithfull is known and loved for its vintage inspired prints, flattering shapes, and unique pieces, made for sun-seekers and romantic dreamers.
FAITHFULL THE BRAND Eridani layered printed linen shorts - £169 at Net-A-Porter
Perfect for beach days as well as adventures in the city, Faithfull The Brand's 'Eridani' shorts are layered to look like a mini skirt at the front. They're cut from airy linen and patterned with a 'Vadella' print, named after the Ibizan cove.
Paying homage to an Australian rag-trade family legacy, MATIN’s effortless, grounded and French-inspired design direction was born from a simple desire to create wearable, elegant yet relaxed, Australia-made clothing for the modern woman.
Founded by Michelle Perrett in 2015, the MATIN mood is shaped by family heritage and the brand’s long-standing involvement in the Australian fashion industry. Immediately enlisting her daughter, Jacqueline Perrett as brand director, Michelle’s family influence is heavily interlaced in MATIN; from the French name, to choosing to produce locally with Australian manufacturers.
The mother-daughter duo has meticulously built MATIN to reflect an Australian-meets-French attitude toward dressing; there is a sense of laidback-elegance, of languid seaside silhouettes paired with tailored Parisian sophistication.
Co-founders Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan established Bassike in 2006 with a vision to create luxurious and wearable everyday pieces – for men and women - designed to work in a structured wardrobe just as well as with a pair of trainers. The Bassike philosophy centres on high-quality design and construction with a commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Bassike is proud to support Australian local industry by ethically producing its organic jersey and mainline collections in Australia.
BASSIKE + NET SUSTAIN two-tone cotton-poplin halterneck maxi dress - £365 at Net-A-Porter
Local craftsmanship is central to Bassike - by manufacturing its collections in Australia, the brand is able to ensure fair wages for its employees, oversee production and minimize its carbon footprint. This dress is cut from two-tone cotton-poplin and has a strappy open back.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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