Looks from Karen Walker's Resort 2016/17 collection called Mujer.
Karen Walker has mastered the art of unexpected collaborations which add something different to her brand each time, and for her Resort 2016/17 collaboration (which is released today) she worked with local artist John Reynolds, drawing inspiration from the poetry of Federico García Lorca. Regarded as one of the most important Spanish poets of the twentieth century, García Lorca's work incorporated elements of Spanish folklore, Andalusian flamenco and Gypsy culture in a lyrical style that reflected his left leaning political views. Walker has interpreted the revolutionary spirit of that poetry to create her collection named Mujer (Spanish for woman) whose freedom fighters are leading the way in her campaign.
John Reynolds (Arts Foundation Laureate, two-time Walters Prize nominee and Sydney Biennale headliner) interpreted García Lorca’s motifs across the faces of Karen’s Mujer which has a striking effect in the campaign images, reinforcing the revolutionary spirit. The collection itself is practical in its application with denim and cotton drill making for pragmatic fabric choices that are softened by voile and silk. The military inspired hues of khaki, tobacco and white are seen in camo print and solid colours that are juxtaposed with navy, bleached denim and a vivid blood orange which symbolises the International Brigades, who fought in the Spanish Civil War.
Walker's signature use of masculine tailoring contrasted with feminine details and silhouettes comes to play in this collection with utilitarian jackets tied at the elbows with a bell sleeve or with ruffles down the front. But there is an edginess that belies the revolutionary undercurrent of the pieces seen in frayed edged denim and off-centre ruffles. Pintucks on beautiful shirts, charming florals and off the shoulder shirring add a layer of prettiness in voluminous styles that are cinched in at the waist in true Spanish style. The rebellious spirit comes through loud and clear in this collection, for these are women who will fight for what they believe in with Walker leading the way.