Returning to Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) in 2022 after a debut in 2021, St Agni Resort ’23 is a lesson in the art of balance. With subtle contrasts and juxtaposing elements meeting in simpatico, the minimalist brand ushers in a new era of fluid dressing for men and women.
Designer Lara Fells – who works alongside husband, Matt – explained that she drew on her own nostalgia when crafting the collection, an homage to fond memories and early years immersed in fashion.
“The Resort 2023 collection really resonates with my own nostalgia of the 90s,” said Fells. “The collection strongly references this era, which brings back fond memories of my first introduction to fashion, reading magazines, and beginning to grow a love for dressing and style."
Of the design process, St Agni wanted to flirt with silhouettes and accents that conveyed a natural softness in both men’s and women’s clothes, reflecting a contemporary mindset where rules do not apply.
“We wanted to be more adventurous with cuts and details that show off the softness of masculinity, and the strength of femininity. Sharing each other’s clothes is quite sensual and intimate, which is a conversation we are exploring internally. The exploration of contradictions is the undercurrent of this collection.”
A womenswear collection transcending genders through sophisticated silhouettes designed with fluidity in mind, St Agni Resort '23 is a narrative of normalising men borrowing from women, an idea often reversed throughout fashion. It is refined, elevated and a step towards a new way of dressing.
This collection naturally reflects a continued brand evolution with a design trajectory towards gender fluid dressing - can you tell us more?
Our collections are essentially womenswear with pieces that ultimately transcends genders, that is more a 'shared wardrobe that's loved by all', rather than defined as a unisex label. We want to normalise the ability for men to borrow from women, similar to the ways in which it is so natural and celebrated for women to borrow from menswear in the casual space.
Last year was your fashion week debut. What exciting maturations can we expect to see in this year's show?
We want to be more adventurous with the styling and casting in order to reflect the contemporary societal mindset, nothing is so black and white anymore, and contradictions in life and dressing can be fluid and work in harmony.
Our familiar clean lines take on a new, freeing sensuality.
What are you most excited about for this show?
I'm excited to show a St. Agni collection that is more risqué, more sensual than what people know the brand as. Fundamentally we will always be the elevated, everyday luxury brand, but it is a new dawn where we are free to have fun and celebrate living again, so Resort ‘23 is our interpretation of that.
We are excited to see the development in this show. We learnt so much from last year, it's so nice going into it with everything we have learnt. For example, this collection compared to the last AAFW collection has been designed with the runway in mind. Ultimately, we know what we are in for, and we have a much better understanding of the planning and operations at an organisational level which definitely helps.
What can we expect to see next from St. Agni?
Our aim is to continue to keep refining what we do and keep getting better each season by exploring ways of incorporating fluid dressing as a womenswear label, without taking the integrity from it. Each collection has its own identity, but still builds upon and stays true to our core aesthetic.
Improving transparency as well as exploring considered, environmentally friendly materials is always a priority for our brand.
We would also love to open a store in Sydney...but let’s see how we go!