LIFEWITHBIRD - The Distance Between

April 23rd, 2012 by  |  Published in Features, Headline  |  2 Comments

The magic of summer lies in its light, those borrowed hours afforded by daylight saving somewhere between afternoon and dusk. A moment more whiled away in the surf or resting in the shade, a longer walk by the sea. Staying well away from the oft-told summer story of brights under a blazing sun, LIFEwithBIRD have started the Australian fashion season concerned with a softer summer, of late shadows and salt breezes in a palette of pastels, prints and navy.

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Melbourne label, it is fitting that LIFEwithBIRD (helmed by design team Nicholas Van Messner and Bridget McCall) have looked towards home for inspiration. A reflection on their decade past, the SS 12/13 collection titled ‘The Distance Between’ explores the concept of evolution, drawing on the imagery of the Australian landscape. These references manifest most obviously in digital prints - blushes of pink and green and bubbly greys - derived from cliff faces, sea spray and ghost gums. The prints were splashed over soft dresses, tanks and pants and worked into a textured jacquard minidress. There were several nods to a sporty aesthetic with racer-back detailing, fluid fabrics and short-sets. Pastels dominatated the collection including lilac, mint green and apricot with the merest touch of the neon brights (a lemon-lime tank) that were all over the RAFW runways last summer.

The show ended on a darker evening note with three pieces in inky navy. The ruched minidress demonstrated the most interesting use of drapey layering but the slinky jumpsuit captured the signature LIFEwithBIRD essence of effortlessness, as worn by Bridget McCall for her end-of-show bow. Overall there was a sensation of softness and ease, the models wearing their hair slicked back, the clothes perfectly set against the early morning light flooding into the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House. The LIFEwithBIRD story has always been one of considered simplicity and this anniversary collection not only demonstrated it perfectly, it bodes well for the decades to come.

Words by Lucinda Burtt Photos by Vanessa Low


  1. Vanessa says:

    April 23rd, 2012at 12:43 PM(#)

    Lucinda, this is wonderful! You’ve really captured the essence of the collection and I even feel like I’m watching it all over again when I read your descriptions. It’s really interesting how inspiration was derived from the Australian landscape, I think this has been done in so many ways however I think LIFEwithBIRD have shown a refreshing concept of it.

  2. King says:

    April 23rd, 2012at 9:32 PM(#)

    Great story Lucinda, the collection is so very australian, its casual but chic and the palette just captures our laid back sensibilities. Will be following this brand more closely.

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