The gorgeous LOW TIDE print is a special part of our BETWEEN WIND AND WATER Summer 2018 collection. It features cute sea creatures hand drawn by Kylie's (then) 5-year-old son, Orlo last summer! Read on to share a little of what inspired them both.
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Orlo got his sea legs early in life - he first slept on our boat when he was just three weeks old! Since then he's spent many a weekend and holiday on board with us anchoring at beaches along the east coast and even crossing over Bass Strait to Tasmania.
For a big part of the year, the ocean is a second home for us: a family pastime that offers respite from the demands of inner-city life and running a small business! To step outside of life in Melbourne and experience new places is always a good way to find inspiration. I see the same creative sparks in Orlo when we are out in nature. The thing I admire the most is that he is not inhibited about anything he creates. For him, it's about telling a story, and getting his ideas out quickly. He's not precious or worried about the outcome - it's just magic.
Last summer the three of us (myself, my partner Simon, and Orlo) were lucky to be able to spend five weeks away together exploring the coastline around Wilsons Promontory and Port Albert. It's a long time to spend living on a boat, and certainly not without some scary moments, but overall it was such an amazing experience to be able to have so much time away from the city and in the wilderness together. Orlo became a prolific drawer over this time and drew many of the critters we saw each day. This journey also inspired the prints I created for BETWEEN WIND AND WATER - So it does feel like a very special collection for me personally!
LOW TIDE features Orlo's drawings of sea critters. He's watched the process of me designing prints so many times, and has enjoyed seeing his own work come to life in this way. I can't wait for him to see someone actually wearing his drawings... his eyes will totally pop!
While many of the silhouettes from our Way of Flowers collection have been influenced by 1970s shapes and colours, our UME BLOUSE has one of the most interesting backstories.
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Made from Tencel, our UME BLOUSE is a long-sleeve, button-up shirt with a pussy bow collar. This classic style is a staple item in many wardrobes. But have you ever wondered: why ‘pussy bow’?
One of the earliest appearances of the term is from the 1930s, connecting the feature to the kind of bow tied to the necks of actual cats and kittens as an identifier (!). But thanks to trailblazers such as YSL and Coco Chanel, in the 1960s this floppy neck tie started to take on a new life as strong, independent women began to own the look (hello, Sofia Loren, Grace Kelly, and Peggy & Joan from Mad Men!).
Throughout the 1980s, when women started to assert themselves at work - and in particular the board room - the ‘power-dressing’ pussy bow (combined with those ever-present shoulder pads!) was the equivalent to the male shirt and tie.
More recently, the pussy bow has had a resurgence and become a symbol of alliance with women at the forefront of media politics around the world. Sara Danius, literary scholar and head of the Swedish Academy, often wore the pussy bow as part of her ‘work uniform’. When she was unceremoniously ousted from the Academy after it was engulfed in a #metoo scandal, women across the country began sporting the look as a solidarity move. And who could forget those pussy remarks in 2016, the ones that sparked so many protests around the world? Is Melania sending a message? I guess we’ll have to wait for a tell-all memoir...
So when you take your Obus UME BLOUSE out on the town, don’t forget that you’re standing with generations of women before you. Wear it with pride, and know it will never go out of style.
Like all our prints, Kado was developed by our fearless leader (founder and creative director), Kylie Zerbst, as part of our most recent collection, Way of Flowers.
Inspired by crysanthemum flowers and contemporary ikebana, Kado is accented with mauve, burgundy, and potent orange accents - A true Obus classic.
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Shop all KADO styles - including our CRUMPLER X OBUS accessories collection now!
Our most recent collection, JUMP AT THE SUN, invites you to become acquainted with twelve women who made a lasting impact on the creative arts in the United States almost a century ago.
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While each Obus collection is typically influenced by a geographic destination, JUMP AT THE SUN celebrates a group of trailblazing American women whose contribution to the arts and culture in New York in the 1920s and 30s left an indelible mark on the world. From charismatic writer Zora Neale Hurston to brazen performer and musician Gladys Bentley, these heroines of the arts were luminaries in the Harlem Renaissance movement, a period between World War One and the great depression where a new wave of diversity and inclusiveness in the arts took hold.
If you follow us on Instagram, you might have already seen us post about our #obusheroes - women who in the past and the present inspire us with their creativity, dynamism and influence. JUMP AT THE SUN is a natural extension of that.
The exclusive Obus prints and styles within this collection pay homage to key figures from the movement. Here’s a little background about each of these remarkable women:
L-R: Writer Zora Neale Hurston; performer Gladys Bentley; performer Florence Mills
Zora Neale Hurston was a charismatic and energetic novelist and playwright. Heavily influenced by her mother - who encouraged Zora and her siblings to ‘jump at the sun’ and pursue all that they desired from life - her confidence as a black woman at that time infected all those who met her.
Gladys Bentley was a talented singer, piano player and had early success with the Broadway set of NYC. Openly gay, she became hugely popular at various clubs in the city with her risque performances which often involved cross-dressing, drag queens, flirtatious and inuendo-filled song lyrics and performances that challenged and delighted the audiences of the day. Similarly, musical performer and star of the vaudeville scene Florence Mills broke many racial barriers in her short career before passing away from illness at just 31 years of age.
L-R: Singer Marian Anderson; actress Blanche Dunn; actress Fredi Washington
Marian Anderson was an acclaimed singer who travelled the world playing venues such as Carnegie Hall and the White House. Her popularity influenced the evolution of many attitudes about segregation in performance venues across the United States. Actresses Blanche Dunn and Fredi Washington both dabbled in broadway and cabaret - each with stints as chorus girls. Washington continued on to have a successful film career (with a side of activism) while Dunn is best remembered as the ‘it’ girl of the day.
L-R: Artist/textile designer Lois Mailou Jones; writer Nella Larsen; editor Jessie Redmon Fauset
Lois Mailou Jones was a multidisciplinary textile designer and artist whose decades-long internationally-acclaimed career is still recognised today. She was heavily influenced by her travels throughout Europe and the Caribbean, which is evident in her brightly coloured palettes.
Nella Larsen was a friend of many in the Harlem Renaissance movement and published two critically successful novels. But it was Jessie Redmon Fauset, working behind the scenes as an editor, who helped to bring a new generation of African American voices to the American literary scene in the early-mid 1900s. Jessie also wrote and produced several works about contemporary middle-class African Americans, including poetry.
L-R: Sculptor Augusta Savage; playwright Regina Anderson; post Helene Johnson