Nicky Zimmermann, an Australian designer had spring fever. That’s one way to tackle a Paris debut in a season where war, recession, natural disasters, and energy crises have served as a backdrop for this latest spin of the fashion carousel. The specific roller coaster she had in mind once ran from one end of Sydney’s Tamarama Beach to the other, comprising a key attraction of Wonderland City, an amusement park that operated between 1906 and 1911. It was found in her collection of color-pop, postcard printed dresses and Edwardian inspired corsetry. These on-theme elements were paired with dresses made of lace offcuts, trimmings and fabrics that resemble seaweed and a billowing stripy. dressIt was a nod at circus tents.
Zimmermann’s business is taking off in Europe in a big way, so much so that her brand is establishing a second design studio in Paris. After the show, Zimmermann said that she felt that a shift to Paris from New York, where the Sydney-based label has been presenting its collections since 2013, was a natural step. “We were stuck in Australia for three years during COVID,”She shrugged, and she said it again. “I like change. I look forward to doing something different, and I want to keep learning, to keep moving forward.”
Zimmermann’s strength lies in making clothes that are pretty and uncomplicated—you couldn’t attend a wedding this summer without encountering one of the brand’s flattering floral dresses on a guest. The strongest looks here were the simplest: Lithuanian model Giedre Dukauskaite in a cream bouclé skirt with a bomber-jacket–style vest semaphored nonchalance, while a series of linen caftan and maxidresses in the postcard print looked like the sort of thing the Zimmermann girl will be reaching for to hop from yacht to beachside bar next summer. Ultimately, the more refined silhouettes were also the ones that connected most with Zimmermann’s positioning as a label promising an affluent Australian lifestyle revolving around beach parties and Insta-worthy holidays. Despite the October chill, the front row was dressed in whimsical florals, broderie anglaise, and seemed to love it. “We are a feminine, optimistic brand. It’s about enjoying life,”Zimmermann said so. Who could argue with that?