Like a lot of designers this season, Australia's Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman took inspiration from Japan. In particular, their aim was to explore wabi-sabi and its tenets of irregularity, incidental harmony, and lack of excess. That last one proved a bit ironic: Freeman and Freeman-Topper threw out a surfeit of ideas for Spring. There was a good collection in here, but you had to dig past some not-so-great looks to grasp it.
As is often the case with Camilla and Marc, the prints were a highlight. The digital chain print with painted stripes was especially punchy, though the collection's abstracted camouflage was pretty good, too. Elsewhere, a print of multicolor vertical stripes had been cleverly engineered into an accordion rib, creating a very cool optical effect; no doubt the material was expensive to produce and hard to work with, but you wished the Freeman siblings had done more with it. And more time spent on problem-solving that 3-D print might have left less time to waste on this collection's unappealing drop-crotch pants. The look worked OK in denim, where it was done with a bit more subtlety, but in general those trousers were a misfire.
And there were more of those tradeoffs that would have redounded to the collection's benefit. A military theme emerged: More time should have been spent on the khaki and the interesting draped dresses, less on the humdrum ship captain looks in white and navy. More time on the black lace, less time on the fluoro pink jacquard. And so on. All in all, this collection needed a sharper edit and better development of the strong ideas that made the cut.