Summer is a mood, a feeling, a weightless sense of freedom affecting all of the senses. Australian fashion House, Aje, understands this sentiment well. The brand's memorable silhouettes have laced our wardrobes for over a decade; continuously transporting us to another time and place, where hearts run free and souls run wild. For Resort 22, entitled Scent of Summer, Aje creative directors Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris have created a rhapsody to long summers and the bygone beauty of the 1960's.
Juxtaposing the sublime and the bohemian, the opulent and carefree, the collection encapsulates the jetsetter age; a timeless era of summers without end, spent in places of exotic desire. Here, we speak with Forest about the making of Aje Resort 22 runway, sourcing inspiration for the set location and what we can expect from the homegrown label this coming year.
Tell us about Aje Resort 22. What’s the first thing you want us to know?
Resort 22 is an ode to escapism; designed to invite your senses to step into the feeling of Summer.
What were your key inspirations for this resort collection? Why the 60s?
The process of unearthing a narrative each season always speaks to us. Embracing a sense of nostalgia, looking to the carefree and hedonistic days of the 60s as a grounding essence to the collection, music by Serge Gainsbourg and films of the era including La Piscine or Bonjour Tristesse provided spurs of inspiration.
The name Scent of Summer, where did this name come from?
The French term Eau d’Été, which quite literally translates to ‘summer water’ was regularly on my mind. We cultivated a whole feeling, mood and metaphor around summer, in every element possible – through scent, sense, chroma and sound.
How does this collection speak to the Aje DNA? Can we expect to see signature silhouettes represented throughout Resort 22?
Each season we look at new construction or deconstruction treatments, new considerations of volume and artisanal finishes within the design aesthetic that has become signature to Aje. We like to push it forward, but with the distinctive Aje feel. Some fresher silhouettes represented in the show include cut-out Sixties shapes in transparent organza, citrus-neon hand-painted prints and organic hardware accents; all a subtle nod to our heritage but with modern and sophisticated undertones.
Why did you choose the Calyx? What spoke to you about this location?
We roamed around many of Sydney’s coastlines, gardens and oceanside locales, searching for locations that felt like you could be anywhere in the world. The Calyx set within the odoriferous Royal Botanic Garden, blended the feeling of being in nature and agriculture, and affects the senses.
What do you want people to take away from Resort 22? How do you want them to feel?
To feel inspired, to feel happy and joyful. To emanate a feeling that takes you somewhere – we all want to be transported somewhere.
You opened Australian Fashion Week in 2019. How does it feel to finally be back showing again after the events of 2020?
With any physical show or experience, it’s always a heightening of emotion and an acute sense of detail – both wildly overwhelming and exhilarating. To surrender to the creativity and collaboration of it all, has felt refreshing and exciting.
What has it been like designing amidst our COVID-affected fashion landscape?
We can’t say that this has affected our decision making around design, on the contrary, this period in time has nurtured spontaneity and creativity within our team.
What do you think the future looks like for Australian fashion?
Abundant and positive. We feel the local customer has been more invested than ever before in homegrown brands, in appreciation of our spectacular country and its talents.
What are you looking forward to in the future?
Empowering women through beautiful and compelling design remains the most meaningful element to our business. Shortly after the show on May 26th, we are launching our first athleticwear category, an entirely new sub-brand titled AJE ATHLETICA – truly ushering Aje into a new era.