With a focus on classic denim with a modern twist, Bondi label seiv achieves an innovative yet timeless aesthetic.
Sarah Vosper, seiv’s creator, describes her label as presenting ‘a nonchalant, boyish attitude with a modern, clean-line and a feminine aesthetic’.
There are many labels doing boyish/ androgyny at the moment, but very few adding that touch of femininity that many of us still want to layer into our look, however subtly. I caught up with Sarah last week to find out more about this exciting new Aussie label.
When did your interest in fashion design start?
I have always been into illustrating, painting and sewing since a young age. Fashion seemed to combine all of these into one big passion during my last years of high school. I also spent a few years after high school living in Europe and modelling full time which gave me a really invaluable insight into the industry and drove my creative passion even more.
How long ago did you start your label seiv?
seiv has been a work in progress for the past year and a half, and has just started to bloom these past six months.
Has denim always been an integral part of the label?
I studied fashion and textile design at the University of Technology, Sydney and released an all denim collection titled nostal-gia, for my final year work in 2012 which proposed the design direction of seiv.
The collection was about creating fashion garments out of denim, so not your typical pair of jeans or denim jacket, there was a denim kimono, bra and underwear set, sleeveless vests etc.
seiv has definitely continued on with this concept, it looks at ways to use denim so people get a piece of fashion that will mould with them as they wear it. By sourcing top quality denim and really considering seam finishes, the garments will hopefully last so one day their grandchildren can be rocking those same pieces.
Where does your passion for denim come from?
I looked through my wardrobe one day and realised I had more denim than anything else, from overseas thrift finds to a couple of modern day designer pieces. It’s such a hard-wearing yet comfortable textile that molds to your body over time and changes with each wear and wash. I really believe investing in good quality denim to be paramount, it’s timeless.
Not only is it comfortable and versatile, but it is also a really powerful and influential textile. Denim encompasses so much culture and history, being born as a hard-wearing textile for workers, moving into an icon for surf culture, and then a seductive textile in the right cut of jeans. This was embodied in Calvin Klein’s controversial 1980 advertisement with Brook Shields, who asks and answers ‘do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.’
Does seiv reflect your own personal style?
It reflects part of my style, and part of the style I’d like to encompass a little bit more. A style I see worn really well by modern day city women, but that needs to be pulled apart for every day living – so seiv is prety much in the process of doing that right now.
The label presents a nonchalant, boyish attitude, with a modern, clean-line, feminine aesthetic. It’s for women who like to feel strong, powerful and protected but who also like to let go and be free spirits of opulent femininity.
What’s your all time favourite wardrobe item and where did you find it?
The seiv salt vest is actually my all time favourite at the moment, it’s easy to throw on and has low armholes so you get a nice summer breeze through it too. It’s a little bit bizarre but wearing it makes me feel protected.
Along with that is a loose and light weight cotton shirt that I bought a couple of years ago, I love taking it to the beach with me for sun protection after my skin has had enough, or wearing it as an open light weight jacket.
Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
Culture in general, women I see in the street, or overseas via blogs, old and new movies that I might be watching, all of that culture definitely filters through my mind, and plays an important role when I sit down to design a collection.
What is your top tip for must have fashion items this summer?
Australian summer is about comfort. Women look sexy when they’re comfortable, so a good pair of relaxed denim shorts worn with a couple of layers of items that make you feel alive, such as a harness bralette and low slung singlet, or a neat modern sleeveless top like our salt vest. Teaming a basic outfit with a simple necklace or a hand full of rings is a nice way to personalise any outfit, and looks great on summer skin.
Some of your items are re-works of vintage/ pre-loved gear, tell me about that side of your label
If you look back at denim from the ’80s and ’90s a lot of it is a really nice heavy weight, good quality denim, that over time has softened and/or gained some character marks, either lightened from the sun or has some scuffs or small tears from being worn and lived in, which adds character.
I like to source these original jeans, in particular old Levi’s, give them a good wash and transform them into shorts that reflect a modern fit. They’ve got the original high quality of denim and the character of wear embedded into them, so they really become a little gem and save a bit of landfill space.
Where can people find your range?
My website www.seiv.com.au has all of the available seiv pieces, and otherwise I’m at Bondi market almost every second Sunday at the moment where I also take my customised secondhand denim pieces and some handmade jewellery.
Keeping up to date with either my Facebook or Instagram page lets everyone know when I plan to have a market day.
What do you like most about the Bondi lifestyle?
When you’re in Bondi, especially on weekends, you don’t really need to go anywhere else. Everything is within walking distance; the ocean, grass spaces for picnics, good quality cafes, and even bookstores. I love trying to surf and soft sand running, so generally I’m down at the beach.
My all time favourite place for food Earth to Table up in the Junction, or the Earth Food Store on Gould Street, I also love hanging out at Gertrude and Alice bookstore cafe on Hall st. it’s a little hub of warmth and inspiration, with different kinds of characters around.
There really is nothing like a soft, beautifully fitting white t-shirt teamed with a pair of well-worn jeans and a simple piece of jewellery. The combination has timeless sex appeal for women and men and doesn’t cost the earth, yet it can be embraced equally by people at both ends of the socio-economic spectrum. Denim is fashion’s social equaliser.
Tracey @ What’s New Bondi xx