At first glance, it seemed that Zimmermann’s Spring NYFW show could have been inspired by classic Versace. The line’s abundance of gold and white embroidery called to mind the Italian designer’s decadent roots in the early ‘90s, but its inspiration came from an even juicier place.
According to Nicky Zimmermann, creative director of the Australian label, the ‘70s soap opera Number 96 provided impetus for the this season’s work. As Zimmermann wrote in her show notes, “[Number 96] explored storylines that were considered taboo at the time—sex, adultery, drugs and homosexuality. [There was] this great quote from the series launch campaign—‘Tonight at 8:30, television loses its virginity.”
The designs were anything but virginal, as the looks were exactly what a soap star could wear as she’s about to sleep with her best friend’s husband or return to town after being presumed dead.
However, the designs weren’t overtly costumey, and didn’t look directly lifted from a ‘70s movie of the week backlot. One bell-bottom jumpsuit earned a modern update with white lace cut-outs. Embroidered hot pants were paired with a half-unbuttoned midi dress.
When Zimmermann did broach Versace territory, the gold and white color scheme was reimagined in flowing, blouson silhouettes. In the past, Zimmermann has found success creating billowing peasant dresses that leave ample room for that second helping of carbonara.
That signature ethereal, relaxed silhouette was still present in many mini and midi frocks. Thanks to some strategically-placed cutouts, those loose lines managed to come off as fresh rather than matronly. The show itself was held at 12 pm on a Monday—prime soap programming time.
True to its mission, the ode to silver screen cool girls felt as satisfying as a day spent calling in sick and binge watching comfort shows.