Exclusive: Gorman High Summer Lookbook, Interview + Giveaway!
Check out Gorman's High Summer here and win a $350 voucher.
Existing for over a decade, Gorman is something of an iconic Australian brand, known for its off-killer, colourful and quirky designs. The Melbourne-based label has also gained a following because of its concern for environmental sustainability, which is reflected in all facets of Gorman - from the materials used (like organic cotton) to the fit outs of the stores. Oyster had a chat to Gorman's founder Lisa Gorman about her new endless holiday inspired High Summer collection, which we give you an exclusive first look of here.
How did you end up becoming a designer?
It was an unintentional path. I studied nursing after school and went on to complete a visual merchandising traineeship with a bridal couture label, who I eventually ended up designing with. While I was designing wedding dresses, I continued to sew for myself. Gorman began in 1999, when my housemate Rach asked me to make some stuff for a boutique she'd just started, Fat 52. After 4 years I had completely phased out nursing and bridal couture and was solely working on Gorman.
How would you describe Gorman in five words?
Fresh. Youthful. Modern. Chic. Adventurous.
What's the inspiration behind the High Summer collection?
With this collection, the intention was to make the garments feel like one long summer holiday in an ideal world where you didn't actually have to go back to work after two weeks and wait for another year before you could go again. "On a faraway island, swaying palm trees fringe the sweeping sand. The Gorman girl is playing backgammon with Carmen Miranda and a pair of cheetahs, sipping a Pimm's cup, as a glorious sunset paints the sky pink and red." Honestly, I've never played backgammon in my life? but the idea is nice!
Sounds like an ideal world! How is the collection 'new' and how does it also reflect Gorman's aesthetic?
As always, the prints are signature to Gorman; they are the starting point to all new collections. After finalising the print design, we work with the colours and then go on to design the garment shapes. The techniques used for printing are mostly screen, a few digital. Some seasons I print mostly digital, but this season felt more like a screen print season, which creates a more intense effect. There are vintage references for some shapes, mostly 50's-60's, mixed up with boxier 80's shapes, as well as a range of modern basics such as the Gorman organic jersey collection.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
I love the basketweave prints and also the 'Swiss Miss' polka dot jeans!
You've also expanded your repertoire with sunglasses. Why did you decide to introduce them?
It seemed like a natural extension for the brand. We've been selling other brands' sunglasses over the years, but it makes sense to do our own to work in with the rest of the collection. It goes towards completing and representing the Gorman look more completely.
What's the story behind Gorman Organic?
It started 6 years ago, when organic cotton was first offered on the commercial market. This eventually turned into a sustainable collection, which was not always organic but in some cases recycled or using environmentally processed yarns and fibres, better for the planet than conventional methods. Now, Gorman organic represents around 20% of the entire collection and is well cemented into our brand. It's not a stand-alone collection - it's mixed throughout the entire collection on the rack. It extends into the way we ship, package and house our brand. From the materials used for our fit outs, to the carry bags and paper we use to print our lookbooks, it's an encompassing process.
What's the best thing about an Australian summer?
Beach, barbeques, daylight saving.
To celebrate the launch of its new collection, Gorman is giving one lucky Oyster reader the chance to win a $350 voucher to spend in-store on any of the new High Summer pieces. That means those basketweave jeans could be yours sooner than you think! Enter below.
Check out the complete lookbook here:
This competition is now closed. Congratulations to Ann Leong!