Global swimwear brand Jantzen, known for its much-loved 'Diving Girl' logo, turns 100 this year, and to celebrate seasoned Australian menswear designer, Danielle Wallace, has created a limited-edition collection, 'A Place In The Sun'. The title pays homage to George Stevens' 1951 film, in which Elizabeth Taylor famously sports Jantzen swimwear.
Merging the moods of her favourite hotels from around the world (like The Beverly Hills Hotel and Lake Como's Villa D'Este) with the essence of Jantzen's historically curvaceous muses, including: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Farrah Fawcett and Princess Diana, Danielle delivers a collection that fuses old-world Hollywood glamour with a decidedly modern aesthetic.
The label's body-sculpting silhouettes feature fun yet flattering prints, designed to embrace curves and inject a healthy dose of elegance pool or beachside. This capsule collection is available at David Jones from November 2013.
We caught up with Danielle to find out just how she went about re-interpreting this iconic brand.
TUL: 'Tie Queen' to swimwear, how did it happen?
Danielle Wallace: Menswear to swimwear, yes it sounds like quite the stretch! I suppose originally I started with womenswear and accessories, so in a way I've come full circle.
The process of designing the Jantzen capsule collection has felt extremely natural throughout, I've always had a theory if you can design, you can apply your stamp to most things. The collaboration with the owners of Jantzen started pre my New York days, when I licensed my Wallace line to the Skyegroup, which was also exclusive through David Jones.
TUL: How would you describe this collection?
Danielle: The range is glamorous. I've been influenced by Jantzen archives, Hollywood glamour of course—for which Jantzen is so strongly associated, elegant prints combined with a modern and minimal design sensibility.
I was very insistent on fabrication, it's an Italian Lycra designed to embrace the curves. Everyone so far has said how good the pieces feel to wear—Jantzen calls it curvallure!
TUL: The video catalogue is surprising and loads of fun. How did it come about?
Danielle: I am a bit of an online dummy, but I can understand people want to see movement and the context of fashion. Compared to music where video killed the radio star, the same might be said in fashion, fashion films might kill the magazine star?
I loved the medium in which we presented the video, as one of the original PR stalwarts said to me the other day—not much curls the toes of us seasoned PR girls, but this curls our toes! You can imagine it becoming a ubiquitous format, but at least in our case we were the first, everyone loved it.
TUL: Where was it shot and who was involved?
Danielle: The video was mainly shot at my property in Arrawarra on the mid North Coast. I have 50 acres on the beach. Plus, we used several locations in and around Coffs Harbour.
Nicholas Samartis was the director and photographer, Viva Vayspap was the stylist . . . same team I use to work with in NYC and beyond . . . I discovered our model Chanel Stewart at a local Coffs Harbour restaurant; she was the perfect Jantzen girl.
TUL: Which piece from the collection will you be wearing?
Danielle: I'm yet to receive my swimmers! Normally I'm a 'when in doubt' wear black. But I'm so looking forward to wearing the elegant prints, especially the Beverly Hills palm, or maybe even the Casta Diva leopard print, or even the Royal Hawaiian!
TUL: Where are your favourite places to meet and eat in Sydney?
Danielle: My local in Sydney would probably be Fratelli Paradiso on Challis Avenue Potts Point. For a beverage I love seeing Daimon Downey at Pelicano, Double Bay, he also worked as producer on my video. If I have out-of-town visitors, it's classics like Otto Ristorante or visiting Maurizio at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar . . . Or on the run I drop in for a Trop salad at Tropicana Caffe.
TUL: What's next?
Danielle: Everyone has been asking! Well the first thing is the launch into David Jones in November, they have asked me to continue with the capsule collection next year, so that's exciting.
Image credits Marilyn Monroe: Min's World
Image credit Jantzen Advertising campaign: Great Works of Style