Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I can feel my life, you know?

Soon after I returned home from my holiday in Europe I watched Australian Story's episode on Maggie MacKellar, author of the book When It Rains. I had in fact previously heard MacKellar giving a talk on the book, but once again found myself very moved by the account she gave of her recent past.

After her husband's death (following a period of his own severe mental illness), as well as the loss of her mother to cancer, MacKellar and her children moved from inner city Sydney to a farm near Orange. The blurb of her book describes how the farm became 'a redemptive, healing place for Maggie and her children'.

When I met MacKellar at the talk she was wearing a skirt from Karla Spetic's Spring/Summer 2011 collection. It was one of these two (I very annoyingly can't remember which):

I approached Maggie and told her how much I loved the skirt. She seemed pleased, saying that she had bought it that same day as a treat. I think she was also a little surprised - my comment must have seemed a tad vacuous given the weighty nature of her talk. What I meant and should have added is how perfectly fitting I thought it was that Maggie wore something from this particular Karla Spetic collection for her talk.

For me Spetic's screen print images create a sense of nostalgia for rural Australia, the likes of which I've never seen in the work of a local designer. And the fact that she did this in the context of a very cool and wearable garment is testament to the designer's talent.

Working along similar lines, Rodarte took inspiration from Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven and the Great Plains of America for their recent Fall 2011 collection:

I adore the Mulleavy sisters but I find Spetic's effort far more evocative. Though, I suppose if things are as they should be, an American would feel just the opposite.

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