Creating pieces that represent the current season is a difficult task for any designer, but Jade Sarita Arnott of Australian label Arnsdorf has stepped up to the task in designing a collection that traverses both seasons and eras.
In the lookbook for 1979, Arnsdorf’s Northern Hemisphere s/s 2012 and Southern Hemisphere f/w 2012, Arnott has reached into her past to create pieces that reference history—both globally and personally.
“Nineteen seventy-nine was the year that I was born so I have a special affiliation and curiosity about it,” she told us. “I’m interested in the way events, environment and experiences can be inherited in to one’s memory and personality before even being born. Research and references that come specifically from the year 1979 are weaved though out the collection and are reinterpreted into a modern Arnsdorf aesthetic.”
The collection features inherently 70s pieces: kimonos and broderie anglaise tops sit alongside varsity jackets and overalls, many of which have very specific cultural reference points.
“A lot of influential and iconic pieces of film were released that year, I particularly responded to Kramer Vs Kramer and Woody Allen’s Manhattan. My parents listened to a lot of Bob Dylan at that time. Bianca Jagger, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Brooke Shields, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg all seem to represent that time to me.”
Arnott has paid homage to some of her influences, giving pieces names like the Streep Pantsuit, the Birkin dress and the Dustin Trouser. “I think that time was both of their golden ages,” Arnott says of her female inspirations. “Not only were they incredibly beautiful in interesting ways, but that had some sort of magnetism that just draws you to them. They had a really natural beauty and style that seemed really nonchalant.”
Model Ann Kelly does justice to a 70s-era Meryl Street, with her long brown hair, playful energy and ease in front of the camera captured perfectly by photographer Maya Villiger—who shot the lookbook on film with stylist Stevie Dance.
“They actually really captured the essence and feeling of my original vision,” Arnott says of her collaborators. “I find the process of seeing the images helps me to have a fresh view of the finished collection that can sometimes get lost when I see the garments being worked on in the factory and when I’m caught up in the details and process of creating them.”
Arnott has been based in New York for the past two years and finds the city a constant source of creative inspiration, both now and in regards to the history she is channeling in this collection. “I think it would have been incredible to be in New York that year, it seemed like it was a really interesting time here where the heart of the city was uptown as opposed to being Downtown these days. Obviously it’s very easy to look back on it nostalgically and especially through the constructed gaze of Woody Allen’s lens but it appears to me as a really appealing simpler, more aesthetically pleasing time. I would have just liked to walk the streets and feel the city at that time.”