Looks from Ingrid Starnes’ Autumn/Winter 2020 collection. Images supplied.
Ingrid Starnes is celebrating a decade in the fashion industry with the release of the label’s ten year anniversary collection, which also marks a new direction for the brand. Designer Ingrid Starnes founded her eponymous womenswear label in 2010 in partnership with her husband Simon Pound. What began as a single beautiful collection of clothing has evolved into a brand that includes popular beauty and fragrance products, bridalwear, made-to-measure and some wonderful collaborations.
While Ingrid Starnes garments have always been made locally and in small runs the label are pulling things back further with seasonal garments being no more than 100 per style. Every piece is numbered to emphasise it’s limited edition quantity and to shine a light on the artist edition values, design decisions and process of meaningful production that goes into the clothing.
Another change sees the brand moving to a four season model which means they will release fewer pieces but will be able to focus more on the stories, ideas and partnerships behind the pieces. Ingrid Starnes as a designer has always been conscious about production and making pieces that will last, this move sees the brand steering further away from over-production and making each garment that much more special.
The brand launched their Autumn/Winter collection this week which is the first that puts their new direction into practice and is inspired in part by the work of Salvador Dali. The range is titled Dream of Venus as an ode to Dali’s ‘Dream of Venus’ exhibited at the 1939 World Fair which draws on mixing painting, sculpture and nude performance art in a display of the otherworldly. His works of that decade, Three Women with Heads of Flowers Finding the Skin of a Grand Piano on the Beach (1936) and Venus With the Head of Roses (1935) were a starting point for this collection, where flowers replaced female heads, standing for female sexual agency and honouring fashion illustration.
Further illustrating the artistic ideas of the collection is the season’s hero print which is a collaboration with New Zealand artist, Kirstin Carlin, from her work Untitled (Found Flowers). The painterly feel of the print in hues of pink, purple, green and black gives the elegant styles its utilised for a unique look. The range features classic tailored Ingrid Starnes silhouettes with more voluminous sculptural shapes making for lots of elegant looks. There is an unbridled sense of joy in the charming dresses that billow in the skirt, the playful bows and use of glimmering gold foil. Ingrid has mastered creating pieces that have a vintage sensibility yet are of the moment and timeless at the same time. It’s a clever skill applied through careful tailoring, beautiful use of colour and fabrication, not to mention the ability to tell a story through clothing which is not a particularly easy feat.
While the new collection has started arriving at the brand’s Ponsonby store, more of it will be available when the new Ingrid Starnes concept store opens at Commercial Bay next month. This tenth year is already proving to be an exciting one for the brand and long may fashion with heart and a conscience reign in New Zealand.