By Melissa Sorge
The entrancing relationship between artist and muse has fascinated humans for centuries. Designer sisters Isabella Pennefather and Elizabeth Abegg pay homage to this special relationship in their latest collection, Maisie & The Muse, for their modern bohemian fashion brand Spell & The Gypsy Collective. In the story behind this collection, two friends travel to Florence, a historic city known for inspiring some of the world’s greatest artists, and as the friends fall in love with the city of culture, art and beauty, they become each other’s muse. From this memorable journey comes the inspiration for a whimsical new collection by Spell. “In a way that an artist paints, or a photographer shoots, we design with a muse in mind, and this collection is an ode to that muse, a daring soul, unbridled romantic, theatrical and whimsical at heart…”
Maisie & The Muse, Spell’s newest collection, is flowing, flirty and feminine–a myriad of intricate detail and elaboration. “The collection is more playful than most, and we’ve delved into some new statement silhouettes, we played with new fabrics, embellishments and shapes. We got carried away with details, frills, fringing and tassels. But we also paired it back with our most neutral animal print to date in some really wearable everyday shapes.” For the girl who wants to stand out at a festival or create an effortlessly romantic look for a dinner date by the beach, this campaign has the perfect look for all things summer.
From wardrobe basics like tees, pants, tops, skirts and dresses to rompers, intimates, swimwear and accessories, the extensive Maisie & The Muse collection will outfit the fashion-forward woman for any affair. One of our favorite pieces for the summer season is the Camp Fire Lounge Top. A cream-colored crop top comprised of soft, flowing rayon embellished with lace-trimmed sleeves and an adjustable tie in front make this a versatile piece to pair with jeans and boots for a casual day out, or with the glamorous Grace Tulle Maxi Skirt and heels for a night on the town. We also love pretty much anything in the Maisie print. The dresses, crop tops, skirts and intimates in the collection’s signature turquoise and orange blossom pattern will color any occasion with the pretty, playful style of Spell.
About the Designer
Pennefather and Abegg were raised in Australia, but it was not until they moved to the small beach town of Byron Bay that they attempted to recapture their childhood through the creation of a playful, collaborative fashion brand. The sisters’ journey began in a small room above a warehouse, where they attempted to fill a void in the local fashion market. Inspired by a free-spirited upbringing, the sisters craved clothing styles that were both unique and vintage. When they could not find pieces that lived up to their expectations, they decided to create their own line of clothing and accessories to capture the essence of the independent female spirit with a nod to the nostalgia of their past.
Spell caught on quickly in the beach town of Byron Bay, where, like most brands, it took off through word of mouth. Pennefather and Abegg sold their products at local markets, and when people would purchase them and wear them out around town, others would ask about the unique items and brand. While this is part of the story of how Spell emerged as a cult phenomenon, what truly sets the brand apart from others is the way that Pennefather and Abegg told their story. Today, it is common practice for brands to create editorial to accompany their new products and collections. But when Spell was getting started, only a small handful of companies were doing this. Pennefather and Abegg capitalized on the strength and intrigue of their story, communicating with followers on social media before most other brands had a social media presence.
As the story of Spell caught on, so did their wares. Since 2009, Spell has created successful clothing campaigns including “Wild Thing” and “Lady Amethyst,” a full line of accessories, swimwear, and even a bridal collection. All of Spell’s merchandise is romantic, wearable, playful, nostalgic, and best of all, sustainable. Since their beginnings, Pennefather and Abegg have made sustainability, ethical work practices, and environmental consciousness a cornerstone of their brand. Spell devotees can find an entire section of the Spell website dedicated to the planet and the ways in which Spell remains conscious of their global footprint and the practices through which their products are produced. Fortunately, fans of Spell can feel as good about wearing the brand’s products as they will look wearing them.