Ferries and hydrofoils in their green and gold livery traversed the harbor below as the usual mobs of seagulls circled and shared their guttural groggy awk-awk call signs above. When you’re a Sydney-based brand it makes perfect sense to upcycle this jewel-like metropolis as your runway backdrop. To do that Bondi Born’s founder Dale McCarthy took us up to the Coal Loader, a former fossil-fuel dock reimagined as a sustainability center in the waterside suburb of Waverton. Here the brand expertly interrogated an Australian fashion intersection that represents a fundamental fault line—and a constant node of dilemma. To wit: Where does swimwear end and daywear begin?
If you happen to live the dreamy but sadly now exorbitantly-priced lifestyle encapsulated in the day-to-day of this brand’s namesake suburb, then that’s a pressing question. Bondi Born’s answer was to tastefully tread water, floating between Grecian draped dresses, halters, and shirtdresses that came sometimes with a surfeit of strapping: handy for a lifeguard to haul you in by if caught in a rip but arguably otherwise a soupçon de trop. Around these we saw layered swim separates and the odd one-shoulder one piece overlaid with forgivingly smocked tops and accessorized with multiple sizes of the same organically shaped pod-like bag.
You could see the pink linen henley dress being layered over the swim, or the swim being slipped on beneath the handsome twist-necked blue shirting and shirred silk dresses in shades of hammered silk—all interchangeably to allow for easy post-brunch dipping before sunset salsa down by the Bondi pavilion. This dialectic was also one translatable beyond the beach. The brand’s track pants in elevated fabrics evidently make for perfect post pilates and/or yogawear in any benighted locales unfortunate enough not to boast a shimmering crescent of sand and surf. This Bondi Born collection was an eminently sophisticated and credible answer to the question posed in the great 2000-vintage Australian short film—entitled How Far Can You Wear Your Underpants From the Beach?—that is fundamental to the whole category of resortwear.