First Look: Friends with Frank, a New Richmond Store for All Your Cosy Winter Coat Needs

Written for Broadsheet

Melbourne outerwear label Friends With Frank began as a side hustle for Julia McCarthy, who was working in retail management and as a buyer when the label first launched in 2012. She began by experimenting with cuts and materials for friends and family, and five years later quit her full-time job to give Friends With Frank her full attention.

McCarthy designs what she calls “forever coats” – classic cuts designed to be timeless, rather than trend-driven styles. “I’m personally a fan of the philosophy ‘buy less, choose well’,” she says. “All of our pieces in the range were really thoughtfully designed with that in mind.”

Now the label is making its first foray into bricks-and-mortar with a new Richmond store. Its minimalist online aesthetic is applied here too, with whitewashed walls, concrete floors, exposed beams, and line drawings on the walls by Melbourne artist Kate Florence.

Two faux shearling Huggy chairs are designed to feel like a warm embrace. “I fell in love with them immediately,” McCarthy says. “If Friends With Frank was a chair, it’d be these.”

On the racks you’ll find the label’s autumn/winter ’20 collection. The Camilla is a wool-cashmere coat with an oversized silhouette, designed to be cinched in at the waist with a detachable belt. The Mimi is a fully reversible jacket, cut like a bomber but made from faux shearling and faux suede.

“I’ve always had a deep love for outerwear, and especially real shearling coats and long cashmere coats,” McCarthy says.

Back in 2012, her first piece was the Frank jacket, made from real rabbit fur. And while recent collections lean more on faux fur as a core material, some real fur is still used. McCarthy says that’s because it’s hard to match in terms of warmth, quality and softness.

The fur she uses, she explains, is “ethically sourced” as certified by-product, which means “the animal is farmed primarily to supply another industry, where its fur and oils are secondary-use yields.” She also hopes pieces made from real fur will last longer, so they can be handed down from generation to generation.

“We welcome having open discussions with [our customers] about wearing real fur or the choice to wear it,” McCarthy says. “We’re just trying to be as open and transparent [as possible] with our customers to explain where we source it from … and why we think it’s important to use it as a material.”

Rather than delay the opening of the new store, timed right in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, McCarthy has opened it as an appointment-only shop, with bookings available for one-on-one visits.

Friends With Frank is open by appointment only at 2A/30 Wangaratta Street, Richmond.

friendswithfrank.com

Mecca Launches Virtual Services – And They Might Even Be Better Than Going to a Store

Written for Broadsheet

With Mecca stores temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian skincare and beauty giant has hatched a plan to deliver the in-store experience digitally.

“We went to our Mecca community and asked them what they would like from us,” says Marita Burke, creative director at Mecca Brands. “[They answered] first and foremost access to product, and in equal measure access to beauty inspiration and advice.”

On March 24, the team launched an around-the-clock beauty broadcasting platform called Mecca Live, followed by virtual beauty consultations on April 7.

Mecca Live covers beauty news, product launches and interviews with industry experts, such as Doctor Dennis Gross and Carrie Gross (from luxe skincare label Dr. Dennis Gross); Jess Hatzis-Walker, founder of Aussie company Frank Body; and Jenny Smith, lead make-up stylist for Nars Cosmetics. Mecca TV, which is part of Mecca Live, has video tutorials on make-up looks, skincare treatments and self-care routines. Right now you can learn why lipstick texture matters, how to perfect your brows and how to nail glowing, dewy skin.

If you’re looking to shop – or learn to make the most of products you already own – book in a complimentary, personalised skincare and beauty consultation. Choose from a 15-minute session or a 30-minute lesson on make-up, skincare or fragrance, all conducted over FaceTime or WhatsApp video calls.

And if you’re someone who, even pre-coronavirus, dreaded busy stores, you might find the online experience more pleasant than the IRL one.

Foundations and concealer can be matched to your skin tone over video, and you don’t have to remember which products you normally use – you can do as I did, and show your skincare consultant what you already own. They’ll talk you through the benefits of each product and explain the best way (and order) to apply them. It’s a great way to reignite your excitement for what you already have at home, and it won’t cost you a cent.

Now’s also a good time to experiment with new products and ingredients (no one’s going to see you if you break out or go too heavy on that bronzer) and learn how to do a DIY facial.

“Customers are using this time to get on top of skin concerns and reset their skincare regimens,” says Burke. “[They] are asking lots of questions about things like acne, pigmentation, ageing and redness.”

So will virtual services continue beyond the pandemic? “Absolutely,” she says.

More video classes are on the way, and the platform will soon broadcast interviews with Doctor Yannis Alexandrides of London’s 111Skin; Carisa Janes, founder of Hourglass Cosmetics; Gucci Westman, founder of New York cosmetics brand Westman Atelier; and Rae Morris, one of Australia’s most renowned make-up artists.

Book your virtual service online or call Customer Service on 1800 007 844.

mecca.com.au

Aussie Swimwear Label Peony Debuts Resortwear, for When We Can Next Escape to the Beach

Written for Broadsheet

As a kid, Becky Morton often found herself sketching during school and on napkins at restaurants – not unusual for a creative child. Except Morton was mostly drawing swimwear.

“I grew up with the ocean in my backyard, so the beach has always been an influential part of my life,” Morton says. “My fondest memories are those made on summer holidays with my family in Byron or the Sunshine Coast.”

Years later, in December 2012 while working as a trainee lawyer at a Queensland law firm, Morton launched sustainable swimwear label Peony.

“I did a 180,” she says. “Swimwear design was particularly appealing to me because it seemed that was all we wore for nine months of the year.”

Eight years on, Peony is a celebration of everything Morton loves about her relaxed lifestyle on the Gold Coast. And at the start of this year she launched her debut resortwear collection, Soiree.

“Our design team is constantly trawling through vintage stores,” Morton says. “Inspiration comes in the form of forgotten beach towels, swimsuits of yesteryear and embroidered-anythings. We are forever collecting fabric swatches, trims and print references.”

The Magnolia culotte-style jumpsuit, with a plunging neckline and elasticated puff sleeves, is made from recycled yarn. It’s light, for hot summer days and comfortable and flowy enough for lounging on the couch in cooler weather. The floppy sun hat is adjustable and pairs with the colourful linen cut-out dress with sleeves that can be worn on or off the shoulder.

Another standout is the crochet swing top and skirt set, which is designed to be worn over bathers and is handmade from recycled hemp and organic cotton. Each one can take up to 17 hours to crochet.

Peony’s printed swimwear is made from 78 per cent regenerated nylon, which began life as consumer goods such as abandoned fishing nets and carpets. Custom linings are made from 90 per cent Repreve, a fibre made from discarded plastic bottles.

“Regular nylon is made from non-renewable petroleum oil which is a significant contributor to global warming,” Morton says. The Soiree uses natural fibres such as hemp, linen and organic cotton, and innovative new fabrics such as Ecovero viscose, which is derived from wood pulp sourced from certified sustainable forests.

“We work alongside our suppliers to collect ‘waste’ yarn from the floor of our garment factory, which is then sorted into colour batches and re-spun into recycled yarn,” says Morton.

And Peony’s sustainable practices go beyond its fabrics. Its suppliers are all SA8000-approved, a certification standard for factories and organisations to ensure ethical working conditions. Its packaging is all compostable and biodegradable, made using plant-based materials such as cornstarch and wheat, which can be discarded in your compost bin.

peonyswimwear.com/collections/resortwear

Master Your Lockdown Look With These Retro Quaran-Tees

Written for Broadsheet

Port Adelaide footballer Jack Watts and his childhood friends Adam Walsh and Jack Turner launched swimwear label Skwosh in 2015 with a collection of men’s board shorts in bright fruit prints.

“Adam is the brains, Wattsy is the handsome social butterfly and I’m the chunky creative,” Turner says. “I guess since launching Skwosh our goal was to never take ourselves too seriously and just keep it fun, fruity and tasty.”

Each season the trio releases a new set of limited-edition trunks in vibrant shades and tropical prints. And now, with the country in strict isolation, they’re encouraging us all to stay inside with a new range of unisex “Quaran-tees”.

“These uncertain times can be somewhat sombre, so we thought, ‘Why not have fun with it, get people laughing and put a smile on their dials?’” Turner says.

The team put a series of fun, isolation-inspired T-shirt designs to vote on Instagram. The winner, with over 350 votes, was the blue-and-pink Isolation Vacation, and the runner-up was the sky-blue Quarantine Dreams tee.

“The Quarantine Dreams idea actually came from a dream I had about being in a toilet-paper wonderland with the Kleenex puppy – it was awesome,” Turner says.

The two winners beat out three other slogans (Stay Inside for Future Vibes, Just Be Nice, and Good Things Take Time), and join a fleet of other T-shirts on the Skwosh site, each emblazoned with Aussie slang, such as Going TroppoBloody RipperYou Beauty and the Ridgey Didge. Skwosh’s oversized, 100 per cent cotton T-shirts are all made in Melbourne.

While it’s possible some lockdown restrictions will be lifted in May, Turner has some advice to see us through the coming weeks.

“Stay safe, wash those hands, but make sure you check in on your mates and loved ones. Get social, send that message, jump on Skype, call your grandma, it’s the little things that count,” he says. “I personally enjoy eating some nuggets, watching Patrick Swayze films, and then topping it off by running a nice hot bath.”

The Quaran-tee collection launches on May 8. Both designs are $69. Pre-order yours here.

skwosh.com.au

Six Comfy Pant Styles (That Aren’t Leggings) to Get You Through Self-Isolation

Written for Broadsheet

As we continue to adjust to life indoors, so too does our work uniform. The pumps and tapered trousers have most definitely been pushed to the back of the wardrobe. Heck, even the classic combo of jeans and a tee are less likely to get a gig in the current climate.

And while sometimes it feels like we can wake up, wrap a robe around last night’s pyjamas and shuffle into the home office, getting dressed (even into equally comfortable clothing) is an important part of maintaining a routine. So here are six pants that can help you maintain professionalism through isolation – and that aren’t leggings you’re wearing from your morning workout.

The lounge pant
More laidback than officewear and a step up from pyjamas, the lounge pant takes you confidently from your lounge room to the streets. It blends comfort (for snuggling up on the couch) with an air of social acceptability, so paired with a pair of sneakers, it won’t look out of place on a walk around the block. Assembly Label’s 100 per cent linen pants are breathable, with a drop crotch and drawcord waistband. Matteau’s relaxed straight-leg trousers are made from lightweight silk crêpe de Chine, a wrinkle-resistant fabric, to save you ironing before each wear.

In Bed’s 100 per cent linen pants are made from the same beautiful material as the label’s bedding range, so you can camouflage between the sheets. Cut from soft sand-washed silk, the legs of Silk Laundry’s bias-cut pants fall into a fluid silhouette that gathers at the ankle to form a slight bell-bottom – and they’re dark enough to hide that chocolate-Easter-egg stain. For texture, go with these retro-inspired corduroy pants from Seed or these satin high-waist trousers from Zara.

The could-be pyjama pant
The line between sleepwear and loungewear is more blurry than ever, and in the current climate, the appeal of lounging around in silk and slippers is increasingly irresistible. It’s not just about the material, though, but the fit. Broadsheet Sydney editor Sarah Norris says the reason she’s wearing Hybernate’s slim-leg pants on repeat is simple: they’re just so damn comfy. The relaxed pant (with a roomy seat) is made by the Sydney label using pima cotton from Peru, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to her new WFH lifestyle. Bassike’s slouch jersey pant has a similar cut.

On the other hand, Oosel’s relaxed hammered-silk-satin pants and Maison Essentiele’s wide-leg pants offer a sense of old Hollywood cool, so you can feel glam in the confines of your home. And if you’re looking for some stretch after one too many homemade baked goods, the elasticated waist and ribbed detail of Venroy’s cashmere lounge pant will suit perfectly. Zara’s high-waist knit trousers are super soft and will only set you back $59.95.

The tracksuit pant
The tracksuit is the OG work-from-home attire. Stretchy waistband, fluffy lining, cuffed at the end to keep your ankles warm. Some of our favourites include Uniqlo’s double-knit sweat pantsCamilla and Marc’s relaxed-fit trackpantsOrder of Style’s “happy” pants and Cotton Citizen’s 100 per cent cotton sweats. And for those of us partaking in lunchtime yoga sessions, go for Lululemon’s wrinkle-free joggers or Nike’s bold, weather-resistant pants.

The feels-like-a-warm-hug pant
In uncertain times like these, often the most comforting thing is a hug from your mum, a close friend or your furry pal. But if you’re living alone, these can be hard to come by. Enter Skims cosy knit pant. The Kim Kardashian-approved pants are made from stretchy bouclé yarn that feels as though a cloud has wrapped around your legs. Zara’s high-waisted velvet trousers are a little more glam.

The dress-up-or-down pant
If you’re thinking long-term, you might be in the market for comfortable pants that double as outerwear (for when we come out on the other side of this pandemic). St Agni is known for its relaxed luxury – these figure-hugging bamboo knit pants are a case in point. They’re designed to be worn as an everyday basic, adapting seamlessly for special occasions. In a similar vein, Uniqlo’s ribbed wide pants can be worn on the couch and beyond.

If you’re planning a Zoom party, add heels to these versatile textured-stripe Dominique Healy pants. For some laidback luxury, the Nice Martin Rosie pants come with a fully elasticated waistband and a small frill on the hem. The cotton fabric is textured to add a touch of luxe to a daytime look. A Melbourne-based mother-daughter duo is behind Honest Studios, and their black corduroy pants can add style to your homebound look. And for a pop of colour? Zara’s slouchy trousers in lilac are roomy enough for sprawling on your living room floor, and chic enough for virtual dinner with the girls.

The comfortable denim
What’s that? Denim can never be relaxed enough for the couch? Wrong. For maximum comfort there’s Kloke’s relaxed mid-length panelled pants with elasticated waist and adjustable front waist tie. They feature a slight drop crotch and are made from Japanese denim. Uniqlo’s three-quarter, wide-cut jeans are roomy and cut loose for comfort at the waist. And for something tighter with just enough stretch there’s Nobody Denim’s Bessette jean, aptly named after muse Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.

And the perfect hoodie
All these can be paired with a cosy pullover. We recommend Uniqlo’s men’s hoodie for that oversized look.

New Melbourne-Born Label Flipslide Is Doing a Grown-Up Take on Havaianas

Written for Broadsheet

After spending some of her career working in fast fashion, Flipslide founder Rebecca Rennie wanted to create something a bit more sustainable.

“A simple shoe that wouldn’t go in and out of fashion, and could be made from natural materials and with minimal waste,” she says.

Rennie’s worked in product development, design, buying and production for wholesale and retail labels including Cotton On and Mimco for the last 10 years, and had always dreamed of starting her own label.

Then, while on maternity leave last year, she launched a crowdfunding campaign that ended up raising more than $11,000.

The funds allowed her to launch Flipslide, a footwear label that combines elements of both thongs and slides.

A set of Flipslides costs $29, and the shoes have two straps that can be adjusted to best fit your foot. They’re pigmented with eco-friendly dyes and come in three colours – black, dusty rose and eucalyptus – and small, medium and large sizes.

“I grew up wearing Havaianas all the time,” Rennie says. “Then I just kind of stopped wearing them one day when my last pair broke. So I was trying to create an alternative to that easy, go-to slip-on shoe for the beach and beyond.”

Unlike some other thongs which use synthetic rubber (derived from petroleum and harmful to the environment), every component of a pair of Flipslides is made from sustainably sourced all-natural rubber. The rubber is tapped from trees (much like maple syrup is extracted from a maple tree) in south-eastern China, near the label’s production facility.

“The design really evolved from a lot of trial and error and cardboard mock-ups,” Rennie says. “I hadn’t worked with natural rubber before, so there was a lot of learning along the way. Colour-wise, I was inspired by nature; there are so many beautiful colours in our landscapes and flora that I love.”

The shoes are waterproof, durable, and feel supportive and comfortable. “And [there’s no] annoying toe post,” Rennie says.

You can also customise your Flipslides by mixing and matching strap and sole sizes, which can cater for very narrow or wide feet.

flipslide.com.au

Byron Bay Label The Bare Road Makes Earthy Basics Inspired by Beachside Living

Written for Broadsheet

Ayla Caughey and Katie Cook first met in 1998, in the playground of Byron Bay Public School. After high school, the friends briefly left their popular beachside hometown – Caughey to study fashion and textiles at TAFE Queensland and Cook to travel around Europe and Asia – but returned to Byron and launched comfortable cottons label Isla Collective together in 2011.

In 2015, they changed the direction of the label to hero everyday basics, rebranding as The Bare Road. A strong social media presence meant their customers followed.

Caughey and Cook are inspired by the the natural beauty they were surrounded by growing up in the fertile Northern Rivers region, and draw inspiration from its secret beach coves, rainforest walks and eclectic community.

“[The label] is an omen to our lifestyle here in Byron Bay,” Cook says.

The Bare Road’s new autumn collection, Noon, is an ode to the change of season and the shift in light as days become cooler. “We’re drawing inspiration from the gradient of light that comes with the transition from morning to noon,” Caughey says.

Noon mixes the smooth and crinkled textures of sustainable hemp, linen, cotton and terry towelling in earthy colours of bone, dust pink, buttercup yellow, chocolate brown and white.

“We choose these fabrics not only for their sustainable benefits but for their comfort and breathability,” says Cook. “[The] thicker linens and cottons [are] designed to be layered seamlessly – loose yet flattering fits.”

The Lara balloon-sleeve top is made from sustainable cotton that’s soft enough to sleep in. The scoop neck, panelled body, voluminous sleeve and slightly cropped style makes it easy to transition from day to night. Pair it with the high-waisted Nadia pants in linen. For cooler evenings, the collarless Adley linen coat is tailored but has a relaxed, oversized fit. Prices start at $119 for the Effie ribbed shorts and range to $239 for the Adley coat.

Bare Road pieces are released in seasonal collections that are hand dyed and printed. Dying is kept to a minimum and off-cuts and leftover fabrics are donated to local towns to make traditional rural clothing. The label is also a member of 1% for the Planet, a global group that encourages businesses and individuals to offset their environmental impacts, and works closely with a small, family-run team of manufacturers in Bali to make its garments.

“We want our customers to feel confident in our styles to love and wear on rotation throughout the seasons,” Caughey says. “Our linens just get better with wear.”

thebareroad.com

Aussie Label Ottway’s Breezy, Beachy, Unisex Shirts Are Inspired by Nature – And Days Long Past

Written for Broadsheet

“From a very young age we’ve been on the move,” says Neri Sacristan of herself and her partner, Manu Lopez-Velez. “Our parents are explorers and travel enthusiasts, so it couldn’t be any other way. For us, travelling doesn’t necessarily mean taking an eight-hour plane, but just being curious and getting out with the willingness to discover something new every day.”

Sacristan and Lopez-Velez are originally from Spain. Lopez-Velez moved to Australia to work in renewable energy and Sacristan followed soon after, working as a freelancer in both marketing and photography in the fashion industry.

“We moved to Australia around six years ago, and we haven’t stayed home for a single weekend since then,” Sacristan says.

In 2018, the couple launched retro clothing label Ottway, inspired by the tall forests, fern-filled gullies, waterfalls and rolling hills of Victoria’s Otway Ranges.

“It’s a beautiful area down the Great Ocean Road that we’ve been exploring since we first arrived in Australia,” Lopez-Velez says.

Ottway’s collections are all vintage-inspired, unisex and made in limited numbers as part of a commitment to sustainable practice. The design direction is often born from the couple’s recent travels, or a specific moment in life they want to share.

The label’s most recent collection of three shirts, called Time Flies, was inspired by their childhood memories. “Times when we were having fun, just doing life, and being carefree,” Sacristan says. Those vibrant memories are expressed in colourful prints and patterns, designed to be loose-fitting for a laid-back, beachy look.

The Gibson is a sand-and-white-striped number with two chest pockets (“perfect for your sunnies or yo-yo,” says Lopez-Velez), made from 100 per cent linen. The Marley, with its geometric pattern in brown, white and sand, is reminiscent of laminate flooring from ’70s kitchens. And The Reggie features a mix of zigzags, diamonds and stripes in navy, mustard and brown, with pops of red and yellow. The Marley and Reggie are made from rayon, a lightweight manufactured fabric made from natural materials. All three shirts are priced at $99.

Each Ottway shirt comes with a short description of the design inspiration stitched on the inside of the collar. The shirts in the Time Flies Collection also come with a note encouraging customers to stay in touch with their inner child.

Other designs include a vegan-suede jacket inspired by the Night Parrot, a native Australian bird; a long-sleeved cotton shirt that draws inspiration from the Pacific Ocean; men’s shorts; and unisex belts.

Lopez-Velez and Sacristan now live together in a Victorian house in Port Melbourne. They regularly travel to Ottway’s production factory in south-east China to select the buttons, peruse the fabrics and review production processes for the label.

They’ve also launched a sustainability program: some funds from every purchase will go towards installing solar power in community buildings around Australia. There are already two in operation. The first is at Coorabell Hall community centre, an arts hub near Byron Bay; the second is at Woonona Bulli School of Arts in Wollongong, which provides mental-health services for teenagers and young adults.

ottwaythelabel.com

Obus’s New Collab With Artist Olana Janfa is a Bold, Bright Kaleidoscope of Colour

Written for Broadsheet

Obus designer Kylie Zerbst has been designing garments in bold, bright, saturated colour palettes for more than 20 years, and has always nailed fun prints. Over the years, the Melbourne label has teamed up with a number of local creatives and collaborators including accessories label Crumpler, sustainable sanitary company Tsuno and furniture store West Elm.

Now, Zerbst is working with Ethiopia-born, Melbourne-based artist Olana Janfa to create a vibrant collection that includes shift dresses, wrap dresses, boilersuits, tops, skirts, blouses, jackets and pants in four of Janfa’s bold prints.

The Imayē print is dedicated to Janfa’s mother and captures the closeness of the mother-child connection through a series of illustrations printed on fuchsia-pink ramie viscose (an eco-friendly fabric made from flax). A set of gold-and-black Lenchaa earrings are inspired by traditional Ethiopian drawings of lions. Janfa says you’ll often see this style of artwork painted directly onto the walls of people’s homes in the countryside in Ethiopia.

Floral prints include Tullu (in wrap dresses, wide-leg pants, floaty tops, earrings and socks) and Sabel (earrings and socks) were named after Olana’s grandmother and mother respectively.

One hundred per cent cotton, linen, ramie and viscose fabrics are used across the collection. Buttons are made from polished Corozo, a tree nut, which is said to be stronger than plastic and biodegradable.

Janfa only began painting in 2018, after a holiday in Byron Bay. On the trip, an artwork in a hotel lobby appealed to him in a way he’d never experienced before.

“Later that same day I was surprised to meet the artist – a French guy living in Queensland,” Janfa says. “I remember wanting to show him the traditional Ethiopian-Orthodox art that I grew up with during my childhood. It’s a very particular style of art that I really love.”

On returning to Melbourne he began drawing and painting, initially replicating images from the bible.

“Most of my early work was about recreating scenes and images from my childhood in Africa – animals, people. Then I started to develop characters and found myself drawn to the image of a mother and child.”

Zerbst says she first discovered Janfa’s work 12 months ago. “When I learned more about him and his foray into the art world, I felt a connection to my own story in fashion – that is, being largely self-taught and wanting to make clothing that brought joy to people in their everyday lives,” she says.

“When she got in touch it was pretty amazing,” Janfa adds. “Her clothes feel happy and bright.”

The duo is hosting an art auction raising funds for Create Impact, a non-government organisation dedicated to improving the lives of children and their communities in Ethiopia through education, health and community projects. The auction will launch in late February with other local artists including Jasmine Mansbridge, Casey Burrill, Emma Gale, Stan Piechaczek and Zan Wimberley.

“The support I’ve received from people here has really encouraged me and pushed me to do more,” Janfa says. “I’m sure there are a lot of people who would love to be creative in some way, and my experience shows that anything is possible if you find what you love and put your time into it.”

obus.com.au/collections/olana-x-obus
olanajanfa.com

Slip Into This Slinky, Slumber-Ready Sleepwear From New Aussie Label Maison Essentiele

Written for Broadsheet

Liv Flanagan has always been a maker. “As a child I’d organise baking stalls and lemonade stands,” she says. “[Then in] my teenage years I’d distress denim and stud vintage clothes and sell them at the local fashion markets.”

She eventually landed a job in public relations, and for the last five years has worked with retail and fashion clients. In November, Flanagan launched her own label: Maison Essentiele, a silk sleepwear brand that’s all about relaxed elegance.

“I love how women used to dress for sleep – the elaborate nighties and gowns – so definitely vintage sleepwear [was the inspiration], but with a modern twist,” she says. “My grandmother has a stunning collection of vintage silk nighties and robes.”

Flanagan chose silk for its natural properties that allow the body to breathe, keeping the body warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather. It’s also hypo-allergenic for those with sensitive skin.

The label’s spring/summer ’20 collection includes a racerback camisole matched with comfy, loose-fitting shorts, a curve-hugging slip dress and boyfriend pyjamas (wide-leg silk pants and a matching button-down shirt).

Everything is made with grade-A silk (there are three grades – A, B and C – of which A is considered the highest quality), with a density of 19 momme, which means pieces aren’t see-through.

The colour scheme is classic, with pieces in black, white, monochrome stripes, pale pink, aqua and champagne. And everything costs between $110 and $350.

Flanagan says she plans to expand the range this year, working with different natural materials. The label’s upcoming autumn/winter ’20 collection is inspired by summer travels through the Mediterranean.

maisonessentiele.com