OROTON X RUSSH
When OROTON launched its latest resort collection during Australian Fashion Week, the line-up was charged with a new kind of freshness and energy. That mood came to light via a modernist staging: a show of vibrant colours and artful silhouettes, and a runway accented with otherworldly boulders in moss and gold. We invited RUSSH magazine to join Creative Director Sophie Holt behind the scenes for an up-close look at how her inspiration took shape.
Scroll on to read RUSSH’s report on our Spring-Summer line-up, along with a behind-the-scenes interview from our show.
“Oroton’s Resort 21/22 collection, ‘The Optimist’ will have you dreaming about summer."
When all you have is time, how can you make the most of it?
That’s what Oroton Creative Director Sophie Holt and her team asked themselves when designing the brand’s Resort 21/22 collection, The Optimist. Designed in lockdown, the restrained yet vibrant collection is filled with freshness, energy and joy in its purest form. It's a capsule all about dressing up, and feeling good doing it.
“We basically designed this collection in lockdown, so we were really looking forward to the future and creating a bit of joy, charm and freedom,” Sophie told RUSSH backstage at Oroton’s AAFW show.
“We are obsessed by colour at Oroton. We started with warm rust tones and built out with fresh blue lagoon; lemon and citrus tones, and mango,” she adds, working to channel the colourful future she sees for all of us when we’re together again in a post COVID-19 world.
When we saw the collection with our own eyes on the runways of AAFW, it awoke a place in our hearts we had closed off since March 2020. A place for warmth and connection. A time before, virtual meets without tactility. A place where memories of sultry evenings spent with a drink in hand live on.
Imbued with the effortless ease of a summer garden party, Oroton’s new collection contains an unyieldingly positive spirit. Striking silhouettes replace the bulky outlines garnered from a year of “dressing comfortably” at home. Architectural suits; voluminous sundresses, and smocks are each stamped with the spring season’s motif - a signature of Sophie’s.
The collection is also richly textured throughout. It’s a fusion of hand-worked classics and heritage design. Day bags with woven straps offer a nod to heritage and work alongside lace-accented dresses and strong suiting with rickrack trims – the clues that show how Oroton has reimagined the past and translated this into something modern and fresh.
And the jewellery - a relatively new area for Oroton - effortlessly compliments the collection’s strong vibe, taking it to a higher plane. “There’s definitely a retro vintage vibe with the jewellery,” Sophie explains. “There are lots of gold and turquoise stones, with garden themes and light flowers. There’s bamboo, and quite a lot of volume. You’ll see quite a lot of it on everything this year.”
But as the new collection sets the tone for a summer so close you can almost smell it in the new leaves, Sophie wanted it to carry the love and life of summers gone by. For Sophie, each print carries with it a personal signature of nostalgia. “Growing up, I have memories of a beach house, or a house in North Queensland where there were always these beautiful gardens of flowers. There were butterflies and curiosities. This is the theme we’ve brought through our prints: we have garden florals right through the collection for that happy vibe,” she says.
Indeed, those signatures we see woven into each garment pays tribute to her own family as a wearable memory. The daisies; poppies; thistles, and matchboxes a tribute to the trinkets and curios of her grandmother shine alongside bold accessories with handmade charm.
Sophie says that after a period of uncertainty and unease, we need any excuse to dress up and embrace positive energy through feeling good.
“I love the idea that we are all starting to feel energised again, that we’re all looking ahead,” she says, reminiscent of our happiness coming out of hibernation after a long winter of discontent and disconnection.
“Living in an uncertain world makes us more resolved than ever to focus on the positive. To look to the future.” Summer beckons, but Oroton’s call to dress up and feel good is louder, and even more inviting. Experience the collection below.