2 August 2012
Byron Bay’s Creative Community
Byron Bay sits on the most easterly point of Australia and anyone who has been there will agree it is a truly magical part of the world. You are immediately enchanted by the beautiful natural environment, the friendly residents, the effortless style, but most of all its spirit and the serene state of mind it instils in you.
So it comes as no surprise that Byron both breeds and attracts lots of exciting local artists and designers – all of whom capture the essence of the area in their creations.
Thanks to its bohemian population, Byron Bay resembles a gorgeous sea of colour and texture – boasting more crochet than Greece and more tie dye than Woodstock. Sydney and Brisbane’s sleek uniform of white t-shirt, grey skinny jeans, black blazer, heels and tight bun is quickly traded for salty hair, bare feet and a flowing maxi dress.
Here, style has more emphasis on how you feel than how you look. According to Lizzie, co-owner of Spell & the Gyspy Collective: “When people, women in particular, get away to Byron Bay, they often want to get in touch with something within themselves. Call it the wild feminine; call it the creative within – however intangible it may seem, there is a new fashion scene evolving in Byron catering to this aesthetic desire.”
It cannot be a simple coincidence that all these creative wonders are concentrated in one area. The ocean, the bush, the lighthouse and the history of the land all serve as powerful inspiration for artists & artisans. Thanks to exposure at local festivals like Splendour, as well as the immense popularity of their blogs, Instagram and Pinterest pages, Byron’s humble creative businesses are becoming quite the global phenomenon.
Although social networking makes it easier than ever to discover designers on the other side of the world, stumbling upon these workshops, studios and boutiques in person is an adventure in itself. Being mostly young and home grown brands that have evolved from market stalls, they tend to rent spaces a bit of the town centre. Luckily the journey off the beaten track is a stunning one and any wrong turning is bound to lead to another treasure.
But we’ll give you a head start in the hunt and offer a glimpse into where to find the best of fashion in and around Byron…
Spell is like a never-ending fairy-tale. Behind it are two sisters, Elizabeth and Isabella, who have been forever enamoured with combining stones, feathers and lots of other materials to make one of a kind jewellery. With a leather craftsman father, and a potter/painter mother, the pair were destined to end up in creative Byron Bay. You can find them working and playing in the Ewingsdale Arts & Industry Estate, channelling their inner gypsy spirits, creating all sorts of adornments and sharing their designs with their friends at home and in different corners of the world. It’s obvious why they are such an online success – their frequent photo shoots and look books are a feast for the eyes. Take a peek, you won’t be able to resist…
“Tallow is a contemporary women’s brand, which embraces the exquisiteness, grace and vitality of female surfing. It pays tribute to the birth of surfing as a culture, when surfer’s ruled the waves and brought surfing’s message of freedom and individuality out of the water and showcased it to the world. With Tallow, community is back, the beach is an all-day affair, which carries long into the night and surfing’s influence exists far beyond the sand and water.”
GODDESS OF BABYLON
“Part worldly traveller, part harem queen; the Goddess of Babylon collections epitomise bohemian luxe with an alluringly styled chic. From the medinas of Marrakech to the lush tropical warmth of Mexico, these creations are glimpses into designer, Chantel Barber’s travels, the lovechild of a long and colourful journey of wanderlust.”
“The Buffalo Girl label is one of spirit, adventure and beauty. Terri Cronin’s handmade quality leather accessories are bejewelled with turquoise and other signature embellishments. This distinctive style has drawn a strong following in Byron Bay, but Buffalo Girl also has fans in Elle McPherson, Erin Wasson and the catwalks of Sydney and Miami fashion weeks.”
“Designed lovingly in the hills of Byron Bay, Arnhem infuses vinatges style with a fresh contemporary edge. Seasonal colours, florals, animal, and tribal prints, on natural fibre fabrics, detailing and embellishments; Each piece is a special tribute to a world adorned with pretty things.”
Words by Hannah Silverton. Quotes come from the designers.