For its third show stateside, Australian up-and-comer Zimmermann
trotted out the familiar hard-edged femininity seen on its Spring runway. This time, however, the scales were tipped decidedly toward the tough. Designer Nicky Zimmermann found inspiration in a freewheeling photo of her parents in Sydney in the late 1950s and ran with it. That, married with the attitude of teddy girls, beatniks, and some lesser-known ruffians from Oz, the sharpies, resulted in a riot of textures. There were structured silks, fluffy mohair, plush angora, net overlays, and eyelet paneling. Dresses (and a particularly gutsy palazzo-legged jumpsuit) were shot through with split seams and gunmetal beads applied over the top. Certain aesthetic nods felt too literal; one print, a collage of gleaming chrome motorcycle parts (seen on pants and gowns), was a bit perplexing. On the whole, though, the pieces felt not only wearable, but covetable. The true stars were the more mannish silhouettes, from boxy moto jackets to gorgeous suiting in slick sharkskin and a gradient plaid. A long mohair vest in aqua looked right when teamed with a cheeky bolo tie on the runway. Even if you don't necessarily feel
the part of Zimmermann's misbehaving Fall muses, you might find yourself wanting to dress like them.