There are plenty of parallels between Australia and Italy. From an irreverence for authority, the love of a good coffee, understanding the need for balancing pleasures of downtime with hard work. But it’s especially noticeable when it comes to style. That’s where both Australian designers and Italians truly intersect.
Be it on the rocky outcrops of Clovelly or the scenic sites of the Amalfi Coast, the preference for clothing that’s understated and relaxed is shared by both iconic destinations. Informed in part by climate, obviously, but mostly because of an innate understanding that great style is truly effortless, it comes as no surprise that Australian designers would repeatedly reference Italy in their campaigns and inspiration. And so it is with Bondi Beach-based Venroy’s latest collection.
Succinctly dubbed A Love Letter To The Amalfi Coast and captured on film by the sharp-eyed Sam Gregg, the team shot the entire campaign on location featuring locals cast from the streets of Amalfi. A clever touch that highlights the informal luxury that Venroy has become known for and reiterating the aesthetic similarities between our two countries.
The landscape is also present in the clothes themselves – jewel-tones that reference the surrounding waters and greenery along with shades of red and terra cotta pulled straight from the landscape.
ICON spoke to Venroy founder Sean Venturi about the new collection and his thoughts on the ongoing love affair Australians have with Italian style.
How would you define the message of the new campaign?
We shot our first international campaign in the Amalfi Coast in Italy for Spring ‘21. I have Italian heritage and Italy is such an important source of inspiration to me so it was amazing to finally make that connection through the location. The central message of Spring 21’ and all our campaigns, is the idea of escapism in travel. It’s particularly relevant in this climate, but it’s a theme we try to capture every season and I hope you agree, captured authentically in the Italian coast for spring.
What are some of your favourite menswear pieces that were featured in it?
I love the woven cotton robe we’ve done for men this season in the navy and white stripe. It has a nonchalant vibe which just reminds me of being on a holiday. Our knitted linen camp collar shirts, this season with green border detailing, are super relaxed and authentically Venroy. We’ve made a similar style with high twist cotton in a yellow which I think both men and women will love as well.
Italy – Italian style specifically – feels like a constant reference for comparing Australian style. What is it about Italian style that fits Australian audiences or lifestyle?
I think both Australians and Italians are united in their ability to truly relax and live life to the fullest. I feel both cultures really value holidays and know the meaning of leisure which can influence our fashion decisions. Italians are the masters of making elegant dressing look effortless which I think is very relevant to Australia and the lifestyles we live here.
Is there any direct influence on the new collection from Venroy?
The Amalfi Coast was the direct source of inspiration for this collection. When we started designing, we went through photos from our travels and pulled out colours, shapes and silhouettes directly from our photographs. Our signature Amalfi shirt, for example, is based on the colour palette of a local fisherman’s boat and the scalloped edges in the shirting was inspired by shapes at the Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano.
The colour palette is perfect for summer, almost gelato-inspired. Can you explain how you chose the hues for this new collection?
The colourways we selected for Spring were all inspired by our travels to the Amalfi and the colours of the Mediterranean. Our signature print this season, along with the ‘Amalfi stripe’ in clay, blue and beige, is the custom Positano pot print which features Italian relics and gems. There are softer hues in the pink, brown sugar and lilac but we’ve also injected bold colours such as chartreuse and red which is fitting for the Italian theme.
Do you think post-lockdown we’ll see a new phase to the way we are dressing? More of a blended approach to work and leisure?
To a certain extent, I think Australians have always blended work and leisure wear, so I definitely see that trend continuing. I also feel, after being inside for so long, people are ready to throw out the trackpants and dress a little more sharply and fashionably for summer… Just as the Italians do!