There are few women more stylish than Sydney sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart. The flame-headed fashion designers behind Ginger & Smart have cultivated a reputation for sophisticated, high-quality garments that set their wearer apart – perhaps care of a gleaming metallic thread woven through a structured skirt, or a silk shirt emblazoned with a hand-painted print that’s rich with hidden symbolism.
With 16 years of Ginger & Smart under their (leather and knotted at the waist) belts, the sisters sat down with style influencer Jasmin Howell to reveal their new Spring/Summer collection for the FIAT 500 Fashion Files (watch their video interview above).
“This collection is really about the importance of connection, to each other, to ourselves, and to nature,” Genevieve explains of Parallel, which just dropped in stores. “We were also inspired by the parallels between art and science – it was a great path for us to explore through print, colour and texture.”
Take the subtly metallic Cause and Effect dress, worn by Jasmin in the above video, which blends rose gold with lilac for the ultimate party frock. “The new collection features luminous colours that are very unique – for us, to be chic is to be unique,” says Genevieve. “Those transformative moments when someone feels like they really come alive in a piece, that’s what we’re all about.”
Fashion is intensely personal for Alexandra and Genevieve, who find inspiration in their customer rather than passing trends. “Our muse is a woman of contrasts, she can be so many things in one day – a businesswoman, a mother, a daughter, a lover, a creative,” explains Alexandra. “We design for all those different hats we wear – and swap seamlessly – as women.”
They pay homage to their muse by paying meticulous attention to the construction and quality of their fabrics, as well as beautiful details treasured by the wearer. Every flower in a Ginger & Smart floral print, for instance, has been hand-picked for its meaning. “Our Harmony print represents love and loyalty so we picked flowers like forget-me-nots and anemones for their symbolism,” reveals Alexandra.
Rather than slavishly following trends, the sisters believe the key to effortless style lies in a tightly edited wardrobe of timeless staples. “Really neutral classics allow you to update your wardrobe every season with a beautiful print, colour or texture,” says Genevieve. “It’s more fun to update if you know you have a solid base.”
As for the colour of the moment? For Alexandra and Genevieve, the new black is olive green. “We’re loving olive green for eveningwear at the moment,” says Genevieve, a long-sleeve lace dress in the moody hue draped over her arm. “It’s modern and chic.”