New Zealand’s busiest fashion duo, Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša, are about to release their latest drop in the Harman Grubiša range for AW18.
To celebrate, the designers each interpreted two of the season’s big trends. Dressing Fashion Quarterly editor Sally-Ann Mullin, the pair bring their new collection — and distinct style personalities — to life.
Two become one
With such contrasting approaches, you would be forgiven for wondering how Madeleine and Jessica manage to fuse their creative approaches together day by day. But, as Jessica says, “It just works.”
Adds Madeleine, “In terms of the design process, it comes down to two things — silhouette and textile. Jess is very silhouette-driven. She’ll start with a vision of the woman, thinking about how she’s wearing it and what she’s doing in terms of the garment. I’m very textile-driven, thinking of the fabric.”
To bring their visions together harmoniously, they depend on the HP Spectre, a tool they love not only because its sleekness complements their style, but because it enables them to collaborate and to work on the move, even when they’re on opposite sides of the world.
“If we’re not together, or if one of us is travelling, we’ve got to constantly keep communicating and sharing ideas,” says Jessica. “We’ve also got to run a business back home while we’re away. Our Spectres keep us in touch with our product and our people at any given time. They help us to be everywhere at once.”
And they have been everywhere. An action-packed year has seen the pair take their designs around the world, to Hong Kong, where they joined the International Woolmark Group on a research and development trip; to Florence, where they competed in the grand final of the International Woolmark Prize; and to London, where they showcased their collection as part of the London Fashion Week exhibition space.
With two very distinct personal styles, Madeleine and Jessica each bring their individual aesthetic to the table when creating collections for Harman Grubiša. Madeleine describes Jessica’s signature style as “fearless”; while Jessica sums up Madeleine’s as “effortless”. “She’s the Audrey Hepburn to my Marilyn,” explains Jessica.
Madeleine on the two-piece tailoring trend
“Tailoring is something we always do, but this season it’s a very soft tailored look, almost like pyjama suiting. It’s still 100% wool, in the same way you would consider most lightweight suiting to be, but it has a really soft finish.”
5 steps to achieving the ‘Harman look’
- The first rule is there are no rules!
- Pair something form-fitting which accentuates the figure (such as a skivvy) with something more relaxed, like this soft suiting.
- Hair off the face and slicked back is practical and will carry you throughout the whole day.
- A glossy manicure will give you a nice polished finish and make you feel put-together.
- Do something unexpected accessory wise. I carry a Balenciaga backpack most days. If you’re going to go utility, do it in a fashionable way, I say!
Jessica on the go-bright trend
“Colour should play a part in everyone’s wardrobe all of the time. For me, fashion is my mood, so if I’m happy, I wear pink; if I’m sad, I’ll probably wear black.
My interpretation of this trend was our Christina coat from this season, a beautiful, pink, double bonded satin coat, which I went total Barbie with and paired with Comme des Garçons x Nike Air Max sneakers, a big Dior necklace and pink Dior sunglasses. The look I created for Sally-Ann is very close to what I would wear all the time. I literally wear every single chain, even when I’m in the house.”
5 steps to achieving the ‘Grubiša look’
- You’ve got to wear Harman Grubiša, obviously.
- There has to be something in your wardrobe that’s John Galliano for Dior from the early 2000s.
- Gold jewellery – and you can’t be afraid to wear multiple chains all at once.
- Forgive me for saying this, but some kind of Hypebeast sneaker. I’d definitely wear a ball gown with sneakers, so a comfy shoe is a must.
- Big hair.
To see more of Harman Grubiša’s AW18 collection, scroll through the gallery below:
Read more about the Harman Grubiša partnership with HP at fq.co.nz/hpreinventors