Antipodean designers live in a topsy turvy fashion world compared to folk up here in the northern hemisphere, simply because the seasons are literally reversed. So before we get into the specifics of the new collection by Auckland-based label Lonely Hearts, it's important to remember where all the shaggy fur coats and autumnal shades are coming from. For Kiwis and Aussies alike the new collection, What is your Damage?, is fall 2010 (that's spring 2010 for the rest of us) and the pieces have all the moody romance of an early fall day—just like the eerie short film they put together with the wardrobe of new clothes.
Helene Morris, Amy Farlane and Steve Ferguson are the designers behind the label, and as the story goes they met while snowboarding in Aspen, and were all on solo trips circumscribing the globe. The trio opened My Hart back in New zealand in 2006, housing their own line in the store alongside international fashion finds. They clearly have a soft spot for grunge styling, and usually work in some noirish humor into the mix—for Spring 2008, for example, the collection was Dr. Seuss-inspired, and peppered with tongue-in-cheek graphics and voluminous shapes, like mini-nuclear mushrooms. The collection leans on the more melancholy side of whimsy this time around—their penchant for gigantic polka dots is downsized on high-waisted shorts and flesh-tone rompers, and pristine white swing dresses and high-collar blouses are toughened up with sharp tartan blazers and sheer black bodysuits. All in all, a good balance of southern hemisphere naughty and nice to look forward to.