From designing jewellery to growing the brand into women’s wear, Adelaide designer Naomi Murrell continues to develop her namesake label with the new summer collection entitled Soft Serve.
What was the design process like with the new collection? It was basically a more refined version of the same process we have used since designing our first clothing collection – research and development, fabric sourcing, drawing, thinking, designing prints, preparing tech packs, toiling, sampling, photo shoots, production management and a heap of graphic design. The extra elements in the process this season included working with a new Japanese fabric supplier, and designing three of our own limited edition prints for the collection. We also shot on location at a tennis court for our look book in addition to our usual studio shots, which we felt was a fun way to express our vision for the Soft Serve story this summer. As we get more design time under our belt, we seem to have more experience and knowledge to draw upon, enriching the designs and hopefully the unity of each overall collection. Local model Chiara Dorward is the face of the new collection. Is there a muse behind this range? The muse for this collection is a young Katharine Hepburn in crisp tennis whites, a rebel who inspired 1940s sportswear trends – which we love. Over the past year we have developed a design signature that we loosely call ‘feminine tomboy’. It’s about embracing beauty, strength and smarts in women – designing pieces that combine comfort and sass for the modern gal. We admire girls who posses a certain understated confidence, and we feel Chiara embodies this look and feeling in such a natural, beautiful way. We had so much fun working with her this season, she’s a gem who’s up for riding a skateboard or working with a puppy on set! Tell us about the prints. What was your inspiration with these? It was a joy to get back to designing repeat prints, something I haven’t done for several years. We felt we needed to inject a unique graphic quality into the clothing, something to set us apart from the crowd that would conjure up thoughts of good times. Since this collection is an ode to the tennis court, my inspiration came mainly from Robert Ward’s Courts photography series as well as Memphis movement graphics and palettes from the 80s. I hand-inked the black on white brush stroke [for the] Hit The Spot print, and went for an oversized Poolside Stripe in Malibu blue and white to serve up classic coastal feels. The highlight of the series, the Soft Serve print in ice creamy pink and black line work, sets a modern deco tone. What is your favourite piece from the new collection? It’s a tie between the pinafore style Recreation dress in a marle grey stripe cotton and tencel, and the relaxed Tennis Dress in our Soft Serve print. Naomi Murell 5 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide SA 5000 naomimurrell.com