Q&A AUTUMN-WINTER 2021
SOPHIE HOLT DESIGNING WITH
Creative Director of Oroton, Sophie Holt discusses her inspirations drawn from nature behind the latest Oroton collection, The Forager.
Tell us about your creative mood right now? It feels as though there is a lot of reflection in The Forager, the idea of taking the time to go slow is a strong theme, as is nature.
We were inspired by days spent outdoors, collecting things in nature. A certain tranquility is there expressed with a relaxed yet functional collection of quality and modern separates.
We know that colour is always a starting point with your collections, and there’s a layering of tone from one season to the next – how does it influence your design process and can you describe your palette for the Autumn-Winter season?
Colour is always the starting point for our collections and The Forager was inspired from the earthy tones of saffron, wheat and dark putty. We spend a lot of time on colour flow, making sure our neutrals and highlight colours sit comfortably in store from one month to the next.
The mushroom motif is a playful nod to the theme, can you tell us about these design signatures that stamp your collection each season?
We are inspired by vintage and archival research and often find hidden treasures that inspire our colour and mood for the season.
Form and function is also very important – there are so many modern classics in the line-up, pieces that are streamlined, beautifully tailored, wear-anywhere shapes. How are you thinking a woman is going to want to dress following on from last year?
The beauty of the Oroton collection is that the separates can work seamlessly together creating a dressed look or a more relaxed approach. When designing the collection, we spend time imagining how the customer can combine the pieces to create different silhouettes. Pieces can be worn simply, or layered in new and unexpected ways. For example, the sleeveless wheat trench can be worn on its own as a dress or can be worn over the short sleeve mushroom camp shirt. The asymmetric knit dress is a statement piece on its own but looks incredible layered under the asymmetric knit tunic.
One of the standout pieces has to be the elegant leather scarf – it’s a somewhat rebellious twist on the house icon. Where did the inspiration come from and how do you recommend wearing it?
The inspiration came from combining two of the core elements of Oroton – our beautiful silk scarves that are made in a factory in Lake Como and reimagining them in soft, buttery leather. The leather scarf is shaped at the back to sit easily on the shoulders with an attached loop that can be positioned high or low.
This season, you also put forward such a versatile and contemporary collection of accessories – handbags in architectural shapes and beautiful textural leathers, along with an elegant jewellery capsule. How do these pieces compliment the ready-to-wear, how do they complete the vision?
From a handbag point of view it is important to us that each piece is modern and wearable. We ensure every season that we have soft bags like Malin and more architectural day bags like Alva. We spend a lot of time on hardware, which adds a touch of glamour like the gold ball clasp on the Willow collection. I also love injecting some surprise, like the oversized tote covered in padded squares in the Maple collection.
We have had huge success in jewellery and we are focusing on growing this section of the brand. We have the most incredible, chunky fashion styles as well as beautiful delicate options to wear every day.
Lastly, a question we asked last season and one we’d love to have your update on: how are you continuing to remain optimistic now, and what is inspiring you?
We are so fortunate in this country to be in the position we are in with Covid under control and I am optimistic for the future. We continue to be inspired by nature and the Australian outdoors and appreciating that even more now than we ever did before.