Style Melbourne

Nature of Style: Kirrily Johnston A/W 2010 Preview

The kirrily johnston story begins as dusk falls on a cool winter night. As the grey sky hangs heavy with the threat of rain, a solitary couple are trudging across wet, sandy plains; two nomads sharing company and clothes. These are the ‘Cave Dwellers’ behind Kirrily Johnston’s autumn/winter collection for 2010. The collection has a natural feel to it. The colour story is earthy with a base palette of khaki, camel and burnt chocolate freshened with dove grey. That most garments come in an alternative black colourway may indulge the monochrome-loving urbanite but it serves also to keep it current and ultimately, saleable.

The look too, is quite organic. Free- falling jersey tops, dresses and maxi skirts are gathered with drawstring detailing, adding ruching and drape to otherwise simple shapes. Long, knitted scarves with plaits and tassels swathe necks and trail from coats, skimming the floor; and circles of leather are wrapped around waists to make dirndl skirts.

There is something fundamental about the collection. The image of the Cave Dweller relying on the land for her cloth, hunting her own animal skins and spinning her own yarns harks back to a bygone era, a simpler time when clothing was for warmth and modesty. Yet the idea of her customising garments with drawstring ties for example adds a modern notion of styling to the picture. It proves that sometimes it’s not who you are or what you are wearing but how you are wearing it that creates the statement.

For the Cave Dweller, braving the elements can be a challenge and this is reflected in the dominance of outerwear throughout the collection. There are ankle length coats, capes, knitted blazers and something delightfully named a ‘wanderer’, which is a sort of cross between a cape, a jacket and a long cardigan with lusciously draping volume. The Cave Dweller might pull it on for a brief trip out foraging or, in reality it would be great to pull on to pop out for a coffee on an autumn afternoon.

Warmth and comfort were clearly key factors in determining many of the styles. There is a strong emphasis on knitwear, which is a big trend for autumn/winter, with jumper-dresses, long scarves and oversized cardigans creating pieces to wrap up and get cosy in. Long-johns are present too, suggestive of that basic practicality again, and with their stretch fabric and harem-like drop-crotch, they look supremely comfortable.

Wise words by Gail Appleby

Images courtesy label

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation