As the brand celebrates fifteen years in business, it’s only natural that Aje founders Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest have turned inwards, to review the well-worn path they’ve walked, and the roots the label grew from.
Here, we talk directly with Forest about their inspiration for the latest collection, and why their clear cut idea on who the ‘Aje Woman’ is, will always be their north star, while also reinterpreting and reinventing where they need to.
What is on your mood board right now?
Edwina: It’s quite a beautiful blur of things, if I am being honest. I’m constantly collecting and saving images and textiles that I happen upon, even if I have no plans for them at that moment. As such, it’s quite a mélange, spanning everything from the curved back of a sculptural seat, to swatches from a vintage coat.
Who is the Aje wearer?
Edwina: The Aje Woman is considered, curious and cool. She has a deep appreciation for the worlds of art, nature, craftsmanship and architecture, gravitating towards unique and artisanal details that set her apart and speak to her soul.
Tell us about this collection?
Edwina: This collection is truly a celebration and culmination of the last 15 years of Aje. While designing Resort 24, Adrian and I kept returning to the design codes that have shaped the brand since it began. In other words, the elements that make Aje, Aje—our appreciation for raw beauty, femininity with an edge, artisan sentiment and our Australian heritage. With ‘Element’, we sought to reinterpret these founding codes for who we are today, and will be in the future.
What does showing at AAFW mean to you?
Edwina: Showing at AAFW this year is particularly special, given that it marks our 15th anniversary as a fashion house. It’s been an inspiring experience to look back at how far we’ve come in preparation for this runway. We are incredibly proud of our Australian roots, so it is always a privilege to show here and be embraced by both local industry and customers alike.
What does the future look like for Australian fashion?
Edwina: The future is an inspiring one, brimming with possibility. The talent in this country is phenomenal, and the world has slowly been taking note. The global market is starting to understand the different layers and nuances of Australian style and what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
Which creative talent have inspired you at different points of your career?
Edwina: There are far too many wonderful talents to list. We’ve been so fortunate to work with many innovative and inspiring creatives over the years, both within our own team and externally, who have all had a hand in bringing us to where we are today.
About The Aje Resort 24 Show At AAFW 2023
The Aje show was a glorious dedication to the work the brand has done over the years, bringing in texture and colour without it feeling overbearing, in a way that Aje knows inside, out. We saw the return of floral applique and rosettes on the runway, heralding back to what the founders had said on their passion for artisanal and unique design.
What really showed on the runway was an extensive selection of fabrics—denims, linens, ruffled textures and chiffon adorned the models—showcasing a commitment to creativity and a mastership of the craft.
Maxi-dresses held a dominant role across the collection, with standouts in the pink and orange colourways. Yet, these ethereal maxis were balanced out with a good dose of cute mini lengths, in both skirt and dress forms.
The brand took the opportunity to feature a range of models they’ve worked with over the years, with the likes of Gemma Ward and Isabel Lucas taking to the three-level runway. Model Montana Cox and journalist Kate Waterhouse were also in attendance for the extraordinary show, held in the Sydney Modern Project building at the Art Gallery of NSW.