Zimmermann: Dating dancehall sweethearts in resort 2024, building in Paris
All about dating your dancehall sweetheart in Zimmermann’s latest resort 2024 collection, the latest optimistic twist from Australia’s most influential fashion marque.
Entitled 'Matchmaker', the concept emerged after Nicky Zimmermann began noticing groups of people dancing on the streets in Europe, which is where Nicky is increasingly active – as her brand builds out a complete design team in Paris.
“It started this time last year when I was in Madrid and the world was opening up and people were dancing in the streets and then I saw the same thing happening in Paris. People gathered together and were free in a beautiful way. That doesn’t always happen in Australia,” explained Nicky during a zoom from her showroom on West 25th street in Manhattan.
“So, I got online and looked up dancehalls. Lots of 50s images and very candid photos of people having a wonderful time. The idea of meeting people and then getting married,” smiled the Zimmermann creative director.
The result is a great upbeat array of clothes – from curvy poplin cocktails finished with delicate floral appliqués, to coolly classy multi ruffled dresses. Everything suggests movement – aided by all sorts of design magic, from hidden petticoats to bouffant crinolines, giving a sense of 3D to the clothes. All seen in a lookbook shot in a huge Philadelphia estate inside a crumbling old house about to be renovated. Ideal setting for one fabulous asymmetrical flamenco frock – with lace doilies and guipure lace fringe.
“Well, my mum is part Irish, so I grew up with doilies. Now, we get them made and we draw all the detail. We put them into the frills of the crinolines. There is so much fabric, about 15 meters! I like a dress you can twirl in!” she says with her signature Sydney chuckle.
An in-house artist created a cool Jazz era print seen in chiffon dresses, while other prints are in abstract animal pattern dresses with big bows or charming falling leaf pencil skirts. Most looks worn with flats.
“Flats have more ease and makes it casual and easy to go to lunch – they add more crossover,” says Nicky.
For evening, she has added in a dash of masculine tailoring, with rolled shoulders – seen in a saucy black blazer mini cocktail, paired with ankle socks and silver heels, and a pink lady dandy tuxedo suit.
“I think I am going to wear that pink tuxedo suit!” says Nicky, whose mum used to make up her own outfits before taking dad off to the dancehall herself.
In a busy past year, the brand has opened new stores in Hawaii and China, and “a whole lineup in places that you expect like St Barts and Ibiza.” In Spain, business is brisk in Barcelona, Madrid and Puerto Banus. And expect a second Zimmermann store in Paris, on rue St Honoré, by the end of year.
Asked where she wants to concentrate next, Nicky stresses her goal of making a fully-fledged design team in Paris.
“We are building out our Paris design room, doubling in size with knit wear designers and an accessory team. Building out denim and suiting and outerwear. It will be about Australia and Paris together, which opens up our world to different skills and that makes our clothes different. We are about more than just dresses, even if everything new must be very Zimmermann with optimism and color,” explains Nicky.
Henceforth, she expects to be in Paris every eight weeks, flitting globally between the Hamptons, Bondi, Chelsea and the Rive Droite.
Last fall, Zimmermann pulled off a very successful debut in Paris, with an ideally located show inside the garden of the Petit Palais.
“When Covid happened, we started dong films in Oz, but we also took the opportunity to change things up. We were ready for Paris, which is not straightforward coming from Australia. It is not your territory, and you have to bring your team and machinists. But after showing in New York, Paris was something I really wanted to do. It’s an achievement. And even Americans love us showing in Paris. Plus, I brought my kids and parents and my sister’s kids and it was fun!”
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