Sit down with búl designer Virginia Martin and read about her inspiration behind SS21 alongside personal photography throughout her 'South Gippsland' travels.

Why did you select South Gippsland, Australia as the next seasonal story?

It is no doubt that travel is on pause for many right now. In the past my travels have landed me in many wonderful places paving way to various journey inspired collections throughout the years. Due to this seasons new horizons I chose to reflect upon a place close to home. South Gippsland is a special place to me and I’ve spent a lot of time down there with my family beach house situated within this beautifully rugged part of Australia. Being out amongst the Victorian bush brings upon an abundance of thoughts and influence to me. I love escaping the hustle and bustle of city life to a place where every-day distractions fade away. It’s a grounding and calming place where I can completely immerse myself within my inner visions and ideas. Not only has it paved way to vast inspiration for this spring/summer collection, South Gippsland will forever be a place close to my heart and good for my soul.

What aspects of South Gippsland did you specifically pull from to create the collection?

For South Gippsland, inspiration was abundant. the wild and untamed landscapes inspired voluminous shapes and versatile silhouettes that liken the varied environment where one minute you’re on the coast and the next your deep in the forest surrounded by fragrant gum. Organic detailing can been seen throughout, take for example the buttons, these were inspired by shells I had gathered along venus bay that appear in un-refined and miss-matched forms. Colour palettes drew from natural pigments of the land and endemic flora and fauna. vibrant reds muse the ‘crimson rosella’, a cheeky native parrot; buttery ‘wattle’ yellows reflect Australia’s national flower as well as grounding neutrals from the coast and a leafy citrus green. Prints explored checkered patterns from tessellated rock formations and spots muse the ‘Spotted Pardolote’ bird often seen high in the eucalypt canopies. Natural fabrications were selected to partner the dry hot South Gippsland summer. Breathable cotton and linen styles as well as plant-based tencel and cupro blends make me want to embrace those warm billowing winds and are also easy to travel with for excursions near or far. From shape and form, to colour and fabric when I look at this collection it takes me back to my wonderful moments throughout South Gippsland and I hope this feeling is naturally reflected in this collection close to my home. 

What do you enjoy doing while in South Gippsland?

I am an avid outdoors person and South Gippsland opens a large and playful space to explore. From driving along the coastal road for surf checks to hiking along the expansive trails, here you can truly connect with nature and yourself. Wilsons Promontory, an expansive national park, is a treat for spotting native wildlife like kangaroos and wombats whilst being deeply immersed within the Australian bush. There’s also nothing like waking up to an early morning surf, there’s so many secluded and un-touched spots to discover, you are often the only one on the beach and won’t see anyone for miles. I also enjoy ‘punch bowl’ walk, where you trek along the cliff tops from Kilcunda to Phillip Island and the weaving coastline is like a postcard brought to life. When visiting a place I always like to connect with the locals and the plentiful wineries and farmers markets are great for this. It’s wonderful to shop and support local makers and craftspeople as well as hear their shared knowledge of the land. When i’m not exploring I retreat to the holiday home for some r&r, the outdoor shower and fire place is always welcoming after a long day of surfing or hiking, and I can’t forget to mention the clear night skies that are completely blanketed with stars. If you want to connect with nature and come back to yourself then I highly recommend a trip throughout South Gippsland, it’s truly a grounding and reflective place. 

What is your favoured piece of the collection?

A favourite piece of mine is the Agnes dress, an easy-wear midi style that is crafted in a lovely lightweight cotton. It comes in light blue or buttery yellow with fun organic detailing and contrasting white buttons that cascade down the sides. It can be easily layered with a top underneath making it a versatile piece in the wardrobe and will be great for those warmers days ahead.

Lastly, what are you looking forward to this spring/summer?

Victoria will of course be dependent on restrictions lifting however I will definitely be making the most of spring/summer whether it be allowed near or far. I’m looking forward to long summer nights where after the work day is done you can still enjoy the lighter evenings outdoors whether it be meeting a friend at a local park or my newly found joy of roller skating. If possible I can’t wait to get back to our South Gippsland beach house again. Closing the laptop, going off-grid and completely switching off is always good for the mind body and soul. it’s been a long Australian winter in more ways than one and i’m looking forward to these new outlooks on the horizon for us all this spring summer.