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Melbourne Fashion Week 2020 – Presents ARNSDORF

Arnsdorf is a fashion label ahead of its time with its mission of being the leading voice in fashion transparency. In a year such as 2020, the importance of living a more sustainable life has never seemed quite so relevant.

Brand creator and designer Jade Sarita Arnott is passionate about revealing the costs associated with each garment the label creates, the story behind the origin of the fabrics and materials used, and names of the individuals who make each product come to life. Arnott’s vision is to inform a new generation of sustainable customers who share her passion for transparency, and high quality, long lasting garments.

The label is Ethical Clothing Accredited and can back up their vision as the first major fashion brand in Australia to obtain it’s B-Corp Certification; proving its’ a business that meets the ‘highest standards or verified social and environment performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose” (B Corporation Australian and New Zealand, 2020)

Arnsdorf’s SS21 collection is inspired by Arnott’s travels to Greece and Italy; with the locations’ clear blue skies, aqua waters and ancient ruins driving the vision for the new collection.

The pieces are designed with European tailoring and masculine silhouettes in mind, creating a vision of sophisticated and powerful femininity. The collection draws on a relaxed take on suiting, using Italian fabrics, including 100% recycled wool from Lanificio Subalpino, a family run fabric mill in Cerreto Castello, Italy.

View Arnsdorf’s stunning digital show for Melbourne Fashion Week, set in a luxury wooden cabin with floor to ceiling windows letting in a cascade of sunbeams and views of a lush woods to offset the brands timeless monochromatic garments that will last you for years to come, as the brand intends.

To learn more about the inspiration for the collection, and how the brand has navigated the upheaval of 2020, read on for our Q&A with designer Jade Sarita Arnott.

How is fashion moving forward despite the current climate with the global pandemic?

Arnsdorf has always been about considering the pieces in your wardrobe and adding items that are of a high quality that will last for seasons to come. This year, more than ever, customers want to invest in pieces that are versatile and will last for seasons to come. 

Has the creative process and the development of this collection changed given these uncertain times and not knowing when the lockdown would ease?

This collection had already been designed however we decided to roll out the production and delivery of it more slowly, being quite a transeasonal collection it has worked well. During lockdown I was designing the next collection which was mainly done late at night when my children were in bed after juggling home-schooling. Now that we are back in the studio we’ve been able to make and fit the garments and it’s been wonderful to be back. 

Do you believe you have been able to present your digital runway as well as a live runway?

I’m happy to have been able to be involved in this adapted format. I think it is a progressive approach M/FW have taken to current circumstances and provides a refreshing take on presenting the collections. There are advantages to seeing the clothing in real life but also advantages to a digital experience in terms of the content created and the broader reach.

How has your label adapted to a more sustainable future? 

I put the brand on hold in 2012, we had been operating through the traditional fashion lifecycle and I was feeling a growing uneasiness around the way the fashion industry was set up. Since our relaunch in 2016, Arnsdorf has adopted a model where pieces are released in well considered, trans-seasonal collections. We produce limited runs of each item, we don’t hold onto excessive amounts of inventory and we never go on sale. We focus on sustainable and circular fabrics and supply chains. We are B Corp certified and have Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation.

What is your view on static fashion installations? How can we make these exciting and beautiful to the viewer?

Static fashion installations can be very successful if handled in more of a contemporary way,  I think there have been some beautiful examples of this in the M/FW capsules.  

What are your staple pieces as we head into Summer?

A great summer dress, on hot days I reach for my Ina Dress in Citron and tank tops (Roberta Tanks) and Suit Trousers are my go to.

How has this collection inspired you personally?

This collection was inspired by my trip to Greece and Italy last year which seems so special to have had the chance to travel given our circumstances now. The aqua water, clear blue skies and ancient ruins all served as a vision for the new collection. The fluidity and the beauty of the rugged landscape of the Greek Islands combined with the chic sophistication of the women and men in Italy informed the direction. Arnsdorf’s recurring motif of a curved neckline merges this season into a cowl neck in the Siena Dress and Top, playing on the drapery seen in marble statues. Drawing on refined European tailoring and masculine silhouettes these elements were reworked with a more relaxed feel to suiting. Italian fabrics such as a small brown checked wool and a textured, marled green wool blend were sourced from Lanificio Subalpino, a 1940s family-run fabric mill in Italy. Also from the same mill comes a 100% recycled wool. 

On a more personal note, what has this year brought to you in a positive way?

It’s allowed me more time with my family and more of a work life balance, I’ve been carving out more space to do yoga, meditation and walks in nature. It’s been an opportunity to reflect on and refocus again on what’s important. In terms of Arnsdorf, our business is already built upon a foundation of transparency, sustainability and ethical manufacturing but it’s allowed us to slow down again and redirect our energies to furthering this mission and for our journey to continue to move forward with regenerative agriculture and circularity.

By Cloe Johnston for Melbourne My Style

Editor in Chief Melinda Sullivan

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