An antidote to the gloomy global atmosphere of today, the Kate Sylvester SS18 collection ‘The Red Balloon’ draws inspiration from the 1956 film of the same name - in which a sentient red balloon trails a young boy through the streets of Paris. Presented at Sydney’s China Heights Gallery and set against a backdrop of billowing hot air balloon-inspired silks, the range exudes a hopeful energy.
Voluminous silhouettes are cinched at the waist, eccentric prints are paired with delightfully off-beat colours. A sweeping floral dress breezes by, revealing the pop of a red evening shoe supported by a gold ball heel. These whimsical elements are masterfully balanced by the relaxed suiting and menswear shapes; rendered in fuchsia and bright red, then topped off with artfully tied bows. Black favourites include a lilac leather ensemble which nods to the feminine strength characteristic of the designer’s work.
And centre stage floats a single red balloon - emblematic of Kate’s optimistically imagined future laid out in her usual tongue-in-cheek backstage list, setting the tone for the show: “Trump and Kim Jong Il have retired and are sharing a condo in Mar-a-Lago… plastic and fossil fuels have been eradicated and the ice caps are growing again… The sky is blue, the clouds are fluffy, the sun is sunny and your little red balloon loves you… Everything is alright.”
Words: KM Marks