Ferries and hydrofoils in their green and gold livery traversed the harbor below as the usual mobs of seagulls circled and shared their guttural groggy awk-awk call signs above.
When you’re a Sydney-based brand it makes perfect sense to upcycle this jewel-like metropolis as your runway backdrop. To do that Bondi Born’s founder Dale McCarthy took us up to the Coal Loader, a former fossil-fuel dock reimagined as a sustainability center in the waterside suburb of Waverton.
Here the brand expertly interrogated an Australian fashion intersection that represents a fundamental fault line—and a constant node of dilemma. To wit: Where do swimwear end and daywear begin?
If you happen to live the dreamy but sadly now exorbitantly-priced lifestyle encapsulated in the day-to-day of this brand’s namesake suburb, then that’s a pressing question. Bondi Born’s answer was to tastefully tread water, floating between Grecian draped dresses, halters, and shirtdresses that came sometimes with a surfeit of strapping: handy for a lifeguard to haul you in by if caught in a rip but arguably otherwise a soupçon de trop.
Around these, we saw layered swim separates and the odd one-shoulder one-piece overlaid with forgivingly smocked tops and accessorized with multiple sizes of the same organically shaped pod-like bag. You could see the pink linen henley dress being layered over the swim, or the swim being slipped on beneath the handsome twist-necked blue shirting and shirred silk dresses in shades of hammered silk—all interchangeably to allow for easy post-brunch dipping before sunset salsa down by the Bondi pavilion. This dialectic was also translatable beyond the beach.
The brand’s track pants in elevated fabrics evidently make for perfect post-pilates and/or yoga wear in any benighted locales unfortunate enough not to boast a shimmering crescent of sand and surf. This Bondi Born collection was an eminently sophisticated and credible answer to the question posed in the great 2000-vintage Australian short film—entitled How Far Can You Wear Your Underpants From the Beach?—that is fundamental to the whole category of resort wear.