Review: Kirrily Johnston at RAFW 2011

Kirrily Johnston always shows at Icebergs. The trendy bar and restaurant is in North Bondi, situated above an amazing 50m Olympic pool, itself breathtakingly set on the water’s edge. Fitting setting for Johnston’s ‘Habitat’ collection, inspired by ‘the spaces around us – the fusion of the wild and the controlled.’

I hadn’t seen a KJ collection since the designer showed a winter stripe knit story at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2008. It seemed to me viewing ‘Habitat’ that summer is this now-Sydney based label’s natural season. The signature draping seemed much richer, the designs more innovative, worked in summer’s lighter weight, semi sheer cloths and liquid metallic jersey, played against plenty of bare skin.

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Colours were ‘dust’, cinnamon, slate and copper – the latter striking- with a signature print inspired by KJ’s new Bengal cat! The restricted palette threw the garments’ lush texture into relief – loved the leather and suede, the latter divine in a high-waisted ‘70s flared trouser.

There was a capsule swimwear collection including a rocking black/cinnamon colour combo, and fantastic footwear – we loved the carved wedges with copper and black chain detailing.

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– Julie Roulston

Check out more images from Kirrily Johnston's RAFW show here

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