emma mulholland is ditching the runway for her holiday this mbfw

Take a sneak peek at the designer's new zine as friends and collaborators shoot her latest collection at dream-destinations around the world.

by Briony Wright
09 May 2017, 4:35am

Photography Prue Stent and Honey Long

For almost a decade, Emma Mulholland's eponymous label has been a welcome ray of sunshine in a sea of Sydney brands. With its liberal inclusion of colour, detail and attitude, the label has long reflected nuances of our culture back to us via statement sequins, embroidered denim and patched bomber jackets. It's fun fashion and the thoughtful woman behind it has been rewarded with a family of faithful followers.

For the past few years, Emma Mulholland has shown at MBFW with some of the most vibrant runways of the schedule: first in 2013 with Spring Break, next in 2014 with her Dolly Parton-anthemed Risque Business and finally, last year's Intergirlactic collection. This year however, Emma has made the decision to forgo the traditional parade in favour of a special zine release, which will showcase her new collection via a series of photographs by her talented buddies around the world. We sat down with Emma for a sneak peek inside the 70 page zine.

Photography Byron Spencer

What inspired you to create a zine around the theme of Holiday this season?
Well holidays, or 'vacations' as I had to explain to everyone working on the zine outside of Australia or the UK, are the main inspiration. It also made sense to do this because the collection featured in the zine is more laid back than my mainline and I didn't want things to look too themed or distinctively of one collection. For this collection we've worked with wash houses to give things an already-worn look. I love the way Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix used to wear pyjamas all the time - Kurt even wore them to his wedding! So I definitely wanted some styles in there that had that pyjama look but that used fabrications like linen and organic cotton to elevate them so you can't really tell that's what they are. The tees have simple prints inspired by vintage tourist t-shirts that I've collected over the years - we put them through the wash as well because all my favourite tees are the oldest, thinnest ones.

Who have you collaborated with on the zine?
I've been so lucky to collaborate with some of my absolute favourite photographers and artists on this project; I love how many different places and faces we have in the zine. Theres: Byron Spencer, Alex Spencer, Anna Carey , Teresa Oman, Ryan Kenny, Rennee Carey and Imogen Wilson, to name just a few. Images for Holiday were shot everywhere from London to Berlin, Mexico, Aukland, Sydney, Melbourne and L.A.

What was the brief you gave the artists?
I simply asked them to create an editorial based around holidays. Beyond that they were free to do what they wanted. I gave them the freedom to shoot as much or as little of the clothing as they liked; it wasn't necessarily meant to be the focus. I simply sent everything some of the new collection to incorporate but the intention was to profile some interesting creatives including artists, photographers, models and musicians. I wanted the shoots to be creative, fun, unusual and special and include all different shapes, sizes and races.

Photography Natalia Parsonson

Can you give us an insight into any of the shoots?
I'm so excited about all of them! Valerie Philips is a zine superstar and I'm so lucky she has agreed to contribute to mine. It's also been awesome to work with Prue Stent and Honey Long as they are so creative and their story has come out so beautifully. I'm also so psyched that two of my fave girls — Imogene Barron and Staz Lindes are getting together again to shoot the cover story in Mexico. As always collaborating with Byron Spencer has been a lot of fun and I really love how far he likes to push his concepts.

That's awesome. Can you tell us a bit more about your new range that will appear in the zine?
I have a uniform at the moment which pretty much involves trousers, jeans and tees. It's hard to find good fits so we have been wearing the samples to find what we like and dislike about them and we've settled on a great pair of flares and a more tapered leg over three different prints. There are classic unisex style tees and some more fitted ringer styles. The prints are inspired by 70s and 90s skate and surf and also our favourite bands and movies.

Photography Zac Bayly

What will you be doing to launch the zine?
We're holding a pop up exhibition and showroom at Blank Space gallery on Crown street during Fashion Week. Copies of the zine will be available there as well as a limited run of our tees. We are also planning a special launch on the Tuesday night with i-D!

What are you excited about in fashion right now?
I'm loving how weird it's getting. I also like how people are becoming more conscious of how and where they shop, not just wanting throw-away fashion and thinking more about investing in great pieces they can hold onto for longer than a season. It's making me rethink my approach to design too.

Photography Valerie Philips

You have been a breath of fresh air in the Australian fashion scene for so long now, what has been your biggest learning so far?
Thank you! I guess this new venture is the result of lessons I've learnt and realising things needed to change in order to move forward. Holiday is my focus at the moment and we are going to introduce new pieces gradually every collection. I have some very exciting collaborations coming up and I will still continue with my mainline but it will no longer be every season. We are also working on a one-off sequin collection to be released a few times annually.

Lastly, what's your favourite colour?


Text Briony Wright

Emma Mulholland
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