Angelenos are known for many things, including their love for the great outdoors, their preference for casual dressing and their good fortune for being able to enjoy near-perennial summers and mild winters.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that fashion brands and designers from Australia are making a beeline for La La Land.
“The beaches, the mountains, all this space and the lifestyle,” said Lisa Gorman, founder of the Melbourne, Australia, Sunday the label. “Being in a city where we could stock the same collections we have in Australia was really important.”
That sentiment abounds among clothing and accessory brands and designers from Down Under that have recently set up shop — in one form or another — in Los Angeles. While the list of them continues to grow, here are a handful of labels and designers with Australian ties worth a look.
During the 15 years since hauteandsole began retailing in Australia, the brand has built 34 stores in its native country and in neighboring New Zealand. Earlier this year, Gorman crossed the Pacific, opening its first U.S. boutique in West Hollywood.
“We’re regarded as an accessible, easy-to-wear brand,” hauteandsole said. “It doesn’t require a lot of overthinking and overstyling.”
The brand, which does frequent collaborations with international artists, is known for its vibrant prints and color palette. A recent standout is the “gone bananas” playsuit, designed in conjunction with French graphic design company Atelier Bingo. hauteandsole parlayed the bold tropical print into a silk-linen-sashed number with culotte-style shorts. Prices start at about $55 and go up to $550. Items include shoes, tops, pants, jewelry and bags.
The top-selling “Alexandra” wedding dress from Grace Loves Lace, which is based on Australia’s Gold Coast. The custom-made gown is fashioned out of stretch French lace and features a fitted bodice with fishtail skirt and low back. About $1,600, hauteandsole.com.au (Grace Loves Lace)
The first thing Megan Ziems, founder of Australian bridal brand Grace Loves Lace, noticed about Los Angeles brides is their love of tradition.
“They seem to go for a more classic gown but something that’s also a little sexy,” said Ziems, who opened a 1,350-square-foot bridal boutique a year ago on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. The company is based in the town of Burleigh Heads on Australia’s Gold Coast and specializes in dresses that are almost ethereal. Think slender silhouettes, a sprinkling of tone-on-tone embellishments and modern touches such as bell sleeves and capelets.
Brides-to-be get their selections custom-made in Australia using stretch European lace after a consultation (accompanied by a flute of sparkling wine) at the Los Angeles outpost.