At the entrance to Darling Harbour’s Chinese Gardens of Friendship, a diverse crew of well-dressed guests waited impatiently to enter through the gates and into the world of UNITED COLOURS OF RAINBOUU.
Inside, having been assigned a Rainbouu Rider, attendees were guided through the presentation; transported away from the noise of the inner city and into a separate world altogether, featuring the lush, vibrant landscapes of the gardens set to a dreamy soundscape by Wesley Cooper Jones. Dotted throughout this otherworldly setting were moody models bedecked in Double Rainbouu’s Resort ‘20 collection, designed by duo Mikey Nolan and Toby Jones. Perched on benches or aside rippling pools of water; lounging atop a picnic blanket or leaning casually against a pillar; the models all embodied the laidback, carefree spirit of the brand, which prides itself on being created “for beach babes and pool punks”.
The collection was literally and figuratively immersed in nature; as well as being steeped in the natural beauty of the gardens, many of the garments featured the hero ANIMAL KINGDOM print, which is a stunning utopic-garden-inspired design. Dreamy swirling pastels and warm oranges made up the colour palette; and mismatching textures added a twist to the ensembles.
Taking the designers’ vision to the next level, Sarah Starkey absolutely nailed the styling of the presentation, with a strong eye for beautifully intricate details. Models sported hand-drawn tattoo-like florals which wound their way across cheeks, chests and bared shoulders; in a design style paying tribute to the Chinese heritage of the setting. Elsewhere, models sported unique macramé towel carriers, bottle holders and harnesses by Rachael Rutt - a quirky, unexpected detail that was still so very Double Rainbouu. Designs were complemented by eye-catching tasseled earrings and chunky beaded necklaces; as well as an exclusive range of Poppy Lissiman eyewear. Makeup and hairstyling was minimal; but featured pops of orange and purple glowing highlighters and naturally styled hair.
Alongside a stunning display of resortwear, UNITED COLOURS OF RAINBOUU also upheld a strong narrative of unity and friendship. It was woven throughout the presentation; from the collaborations with Poppy Lissiman on exclusive eyewear, to the specially-designed SUPERGA x Double Rainbouu shoes, to Rachael Rutt’s macrame accessories and even down to the choice of location. As pointed out in their show notes, the Chinese Gardens are a symbol of friendship which “present an idealised microcosm of nature where all elements are balanced in harmony”. Within this environment, Double Rainbouu truly flourished, succeeding in their vision of creating a haven of relaxed but chic resortwear with positivity and unity at its heart.