Espionage chic at Zimmermann

The phrase“female spy” may only conjure images of Bond girls in the minds of some, but the pages of history prove otherwise: plenty of women have been masters of espionage in their own right, and it was precisely one of these female figures that inspired Australian designer Nicky Zimmermann’s latest collection.


Zimmermann - Fall/Winter 219 - New York - Photo: Zimmermann


The Zimmermann label’s Fall 2019 collection paid homage to World War II French Resistance fighter Nancy Wake, whose cunning and elusiveness while fighting the Germans earned her the nickname “White Mouse.” Set inside Spring Studios, the show’s runway set the mood by completely blacking out all windows, allowing for spare, twinkling stage lights to create a mysterious ambiance perfect for a woman slinking away into the night.

Looks mixed the delicate with the fierce and the practical: Puffed sleeves, ruffles and fluffy mohair met massive waist-cinching belts, slouching boots or cropped trousers to create the image of a Zimmermann woman on a very chic mission.

Complex strap and ribbon corsets stood out as the collection’s most dramatic pieces, while classic spy outerwear like the trench coat and bomber jacket both made appearances in tan and metallic silver leather. Accessories, hair and makeup lent an added vintage flavor to the collection in the form of tipped berets (a favorite style of Wake’s), soft waves and dramatic winged eyeliner.


Zimmermann - Fall/Winter 219 - New York - Photo: Zimmermann

Colors combined the label’s more classic romantic tones of lavender, blush and warm yellow with deep merlot, tan and black for added intrigue. Patterns abounded, from graphic to floral.

Founded by sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann in 1991, the Australian label is still a relatively young name on the New York Fashion Week calendar, having staged its NYFW debut in 2013. Offering a range of women’s ready-to-wear, swimwear, accessories and childrenswear,  Zimmermann operates stores in Australia, England and France, as well as in the U.S. in New York, Florida and California, most recently opening two new boutiques in the Golden State in October of 2018.

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