A newly launched Australian label cups your chin and tells you everything will be ok. It’s called — calmly, in all lowercase — all is a gentle spring. But do be aware that it is quietly pumped with theatrics, toughness and the push and pull of fluidity.
Mind you, the fluidity isn’t strictly about gender. Anyone who picks up these pieces and decides they want to wear them, will. The tension, the push and pull, is more deliberately found in soft and hard, staunch and sexy, girl and woman (symbolically speaking), femininity and feminism, the freeness that comes with bike shorts under babydoll dresses and the social and physical binding that comes with corsetry. All is a gentle spring, but not all is a restrictive corset, if ya get my drift.
Pieced together by the fantasies and frustrations of Isabelle Hellyer, you can be absolutely sure that all bodies were considered. This pushing and pulling is conceptual, and not what you’ll be doing while the garment is on your body.
“I wanted to be sure the garments were adaptable,” Isabelle says. “For example, would the dress worked on broad shouldered bodies? For people with little titties? For people with no titties? I wanted it all to be very sexy, to feel hot, and fit is such a crucial part of that.”
The perpetual and seasonless collection right now consists of corsetry that references 17th and 18th century dress, bike shorts that reference 80s bodybuilding, sweet and cheeky babydoll dresses, tees with runic alphabets and bodysuits that stretch and thin just enough to let the world know you don’t give a fuck. It’s theatrical, but not in an upper crust kind of way.
“The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s all very personal,” Isabelle says. “Not in the sense it’s particularly sentimental, but that it started by making things I wanted to wear.”
“Everyone I know, and am I inspired by, isn’t concerned with wearability,” Isabelle says of the theatrics. “At the moment there’s a real sense of theatre and extravagance in the way my friends dress — more full, head-to-toe looks, latex at lunch, corsets at the grocery store.” Latex at lunch? We’re picking up what she’s putting down.
Eventually, collaborators will introduce their own chimera. First up is Australian painter Gian Manik, due early 2019. For now, collect yourself with the above bits from the debut collection — shot entirely on brand by Oyster fave Georges Antoni — and treat yourself at gentlespring.co.