The Wayside Chapel is a ministry nestled in the Kings Cross area of Sydney, providing marginalised support to members of society. A strange source of inspiration for a young fashion label, but it’s the stories of those who had fallen by the wayside before coming under the Chapel’s care that gives rise to flowers for a VagabOnd’s Spring/Summer 2012/13 collection ‘Desirable Darkness’, presented at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia back in May.
The just-released lookbook for the collection shows more clearly designer Toby Maclean’s channeling of these murky stories into a strong collection graduating from dark to bright. Continuity runs through the collection in the form of Maclean’s signature tattoo style print, but also in the rich contrasting textures and the intersection of ragamuffin tassels and sleek tailoring. Weighty luxe leathers are piped around and layered with delicate chiffon frocks and shirts, or even wrap around them like armour. Silver tassles brighter than Kings Cross’ cheerlessly glittering Coke sign, while black ones catch the light like a Blak Sak rubbish bag.
We mean all this in the best way possible, of course. These luxurious pieces offer a welcome spin on a suburb more frequently associated with latex booty shorts and fishnet tights. And it’s a good thing they’re so covetable, because five dollars from each garment sold will be donated to The Wayside Chapel’s cause. That’s a pretty good reason to layer harder than a, um, vagabond.