Travel and immediate surroundings inspire personal style more than anything else. Elizabeth Abegg, from Spell & the Gypsy Collective at Byron Bay, talks about the trends we’ll see at Splendour in the Grass this month, world travel and all things Spell & the Gypsy Collective, Byron Bay.
How has Byron Bay influenced your latest Spell collection, Lotus?
We usually look to the lifestyle we see being lived out all around us when designing, however for Lotus it was about transporting ourselves somewhere else. We dreamed of the trade routes that, centuries ago, brought exotic silks and treasures to Europe from the East. But it’s really hard to take Byron out of the girl, so to speak. Our beachside lifestyles always play into the breezy silhouettes and feminine feel of our collections!
Do you have a “not-so-secret” must-visit spot in Byron?
Haha - it feels like nothing is secret in Byron anymore! I think the little gems that pop up on Airbnb are amazing and something to keep your eyes open for because new ones pop up all the time! In terms of places to visit, I always tell people to do the walk through the rainforest behind Byron at Byron, it’s quiet and even accessible with a pram.
What is your favourite city in the world?
I loved Rome. It was like being in a travel brochure (around every corner would be another breath-taking moment) but it was so real and grungy too. I loved that walking the cobblestones of Trastevere would take you right past the open doors of so many creatives, designers and architects, so I felt like it was a place I worked and lived, rather than just being a tourist. But of course, don’t get me started on New York or San Francisco …
How has international travel inspired your designs?
Travel is everything for us. Whether it be colour palettes of an old chipped doorway in Morocco or the colour of the Arizonian landscape at sunrise, or vintage stores in LA or Paris, to the feeling you get on a tropical getaway, it’s all things we infuse and weave into our collections.
We adore your campaigns. When choosing a location for a shoot, what do you always keep in mind?
Oh, my goodness, the clothes speak to us. Some collections belong in a place, and then like Lotus, some ranges belong in a time! Usually I just feel a collection and decide where its story needs to be told. It’s usually very obvious, like it was born to tell its story from New York, or Joshua Tree, or the Byron Bay hinterland.
Is there a new store in the works? Can you give us any hints?
We definitely want to create another little home for the brand. We can’t wait to find the perfect place to open a store, but we have just finished our new headquarters in Byron Bay so our team, who have been split over two offices for more than 2½ years, could finally be back together under one roof. It was a huge project, so perhaps once the dust settles … watch this space!
For those first-time festival-goers, what is your #1 tip when packing?
Don't be afraid to get muddy! Pack some Hunter boots, an emergency poncho and portable charger for your phone, but most importantly dress for style and comfort. Festivals are for letting your alter ego come out and play, so extend yourself beyond your normal “going out” wear!
Which three beauty items are essential to pack in your fringed saddle bag for the festival day?
An SPF lip balm and sunscreen, hand sanitiser, a few Band-aids just because, and some eco baby wipes.
What hairstyle will you be rocking on Day 1 this year?
My hair is a textured bob these days and Isabella basically has your perfect long beach hair, but either way we usually go for lots of texture and sea salt spray. I love a good braid or space-buns!
Which dress from one of your current collections would you wear to Day 2 of Splendour?
Our damsel lace shorts and top are a gorgeous combo, or our Lotus Romper, basically anything short that goes with my Hunter boots.
What trends are you expecting in terms of style when snapping festival-goers for your blog posts this year?
Probably more ’70s style. We could see it trickling in last year, and are hoping for more. Denim is always big with some ’90s styles in there too. I do think that flowing kimonos over outfits that show a bit of skin will be big this year too.
Lastly, will you have a pop-up stall at Splendour this year? If so, where will we find you?
Yes, we do, but we won’t be selling anything. If you want to top up on Spell pre-festival, you’ll need to visit our Byron store. But onsite at Splendour, we’ll be offering festival-goers a little place to come and relax, with a few fun activities thrown in. You can find us in the Very Small Suburb.
Struggling to pack for Splendour? Whether you have too many outfit ideas to fit into three days or you have no idea where to start, we’ve put together a packing list that will get you started, to say the least!
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