I was hoping to take these pictures under blue skies or the pale pastel perfection of a London sunset, a bluesy piano and lazy “Summertime” vocals floating in the air. Instead I had to deal with the unpleasantness of a typically unsettled English weather: sun, wind and rain battling with each other incessantly. Well, it was wild and it was messy but I had fun. The motivation was definitely there. The idea was simply to show a Tina Kalivas piece I own and adore. If you read this blog, you’ll already know that I’m a huge fan of her work. I love the way her clothes always evoke a certain complexity and fragility while looking exquisite. A close friend of mine always refers to her garments as glorious works of art. I have to agree. The fashion world can be a restrictive place but occasionally you’ll come across a fearless character who is focused on staying completely free to create. Tina Kalivas is that person. Her sensibility is broadly ethnic, perhaps influenced by her origins, I’m not entirely certain. Her clothes definitely have an emotional and intellectual breadth but it sits comfortably in a fashion context. Seeing her collections is like a blaze of pure visual excitement and pleasure. The fabrics, textures, precise and satisfying shapes, mastery of radiant colours and neon accents are all strong and create an invigorating experience. History and reality collide in new ways.
The trouble with certain brands is that one is lucky to see a tiny percentage of their collections. This used to be the case with a lot of great Australian names. Here, in London, we’re lucky to have Yasmin Sewell. Liberty has benefited from her exceptional vision and it has marked the beginning of a new era for the department store. She also gradually launched a kind of capsule division of Australian designers showcasing their aesthetics, infusing a little bit of her country cool into the British institution. And then there is the Robinson Pfeffer agency, which presents a great blend of people including Tina Kalivas and Arnsdorf (another firm favourite).
A huge thank you to Tina Kalivas and the Robinson Pfeffer team for making a dream come true!
Pictures by Mat & Jaja
I'm wearing a Tina Kalivas bustier, stripy Charles Anastase cardigan, black vintage embroidered cardigan, Levi's shorts, Burberry platform booties, jewellery by Pamela Love and vintage Dior