Zilpah Tart has held a special place in my heart for a few years now. I love to see our local Canberra design talents develop and achieve great things, and you would be hard-pressed to find a label that is achieving as much as the creations of designer Yumi Morrissey. Bright colours balanced with sleek, feminine styling – Zilpah Tart conjures for me a sense of union between Dianne Von Furstenberg and Emilio Pucci.
I have always resented a little that Morrissey focuses solely on women’s wear, and more so in recent years with the introduction of her signature exclusive fabrics featuring Canberra scenery and landmarks. Naturally most men would probably shy away from the bright colours and fractal patterns of the exclusive fabrics, but I’ve always had something of the peacock to me, and I have lusted after the gorgeous Canberran designs for some time.
This year, I’ve got a taste of what I have been missing out on with the creation of a very special necktie featuring the Lucent Blue print from Zilpah Tart – a menswear first for the label from the 2017 Autumn/Winter Illuminate collection.
This necktie was commissioned for me, and shows the true versatility of Zilpah Tart as a label. The fabric selection make for beautiful dresses and skirts, of course, but they make for fascinating accent pieces, like a necktie or a scarf as well.I was very surprised to realise that as bold as the pattern and print are, the necktie doesn’t devour the whole outfit.
Slipping the necktie around my throat for the first time I was struck by how charming the concept of creating patterns from the city and landscape around us really is. Up close and personal while I tied the knot, the pattern is too magnified to appreciate as more than harmonious colours and shapes, but from a distance the design comes alive. There’s a Torsional Wave reverberating in my chest and it is both elegant and abstract.
If you are familiar with the piece that has been photographed to create this specific pattern you would recognise it at once, but for the uninitiated (like myself) there is a wealth of patterns and symbols to read-in to the sculpture. The patterns suggest an 80s sort of flashback with their geometry, while remaining very modern and perhaps most surprisingly, very wearable.
2017 will be Zilpah Tart’s fourth year gracing the Fashfest catwalk, this year in show two on closing night, Saturday 30 September. Given my excitement at previous years collections, I am expecting big things from the collection, and I have no doubt that Morrissey will deliver. I know that for now this necktie is a one-off, but I would vouch safe to say that there might be a willing market waiting there in the wings of gentlemen who have admired the designs from a far, and who are waiting for their chance to own a little bit of the magic of Zilpha Tart like I now do.
Six unique shows – three electric evenings.