With the summer holidays creeping towards us, the appeal of lounging around in silk and slippers is more and more irresistible. What better way to relax than in sleepwear-inspired apparel that offers both comfort and old Hollywood cool.
And if the past five years of the activewear trend has shown us anything it’s that comfort is key. Accordingly, the practice of wearing the humble pyjama during the day and as eveningwear has also been quietly embraced for several years.
Bottega Veneta, Fendi and Roksanda are a few of the international designers embracing sleepwear as evening wear this year. In Australia, the comfortable aesthetic has been championed by labels such as Byron Bay-based Seiyo, which is tapping into Australia’s love of leisure dressing.
Love the idea and not sure where to start? This is a round-up of eight local labels taking sleepwear to the streets, from nighties and slips to piped silk tops and relaxed drawstring pants and slippers.
Byron Bay newcomer Seiyo launched on July 1 with a 20-piece collection that weaves sleep and street. Silk plays ultimate muse to Alexandra Wright and Brittany Chadwick’s label, which takes cues from “the louche look of Coco Chanel in the 1920s”.
Seiyo’s debut collection, Lolita, is evocative of what one would wear to saunter around a dreamy Parisian boudoir, and each charmeuse piece is designed to be worn day to night. Seiyo’s pieces have a 19-momme thread count, so the silk is high quality.
“As a graphic designer by trade I’ve always been drawn to comic books,” says Wright, who weaves quirky motifs like sushi rolls and playful one-liners like “just roll with it” into her designs.
Sydney-based Lee Mathews has quietly carved a niche for itself over the past 20 years for an earthy femininity that transcends the seasons. In early 2018 the label took on young co-designer Natalia Grzybowski to work alongside Mathews to bring a refreshed offering to the label; now it ventures beyond nostalgic frills to embrace cleaner silhouettes and whimsical prints. But the label still loves layering. Its LM Essential line features pieces such as the Rose Silk V Neck Slip Dress, whose bias cut allows for fluid movement and elegance in or out of the bedroom.
For something punchier the Shelby PJ Top in saffron silk twill with mother of pearl buttons works as well with denim as it does the matching Tia Boxing Short.
This is sleep and loungewear label Oosel’s third collection. It was founded in 2017 by Adelaide-based designer Lauren Puvi and is known for its opulent interpretation of sleepwear. The label is named for the Estonian translation of “at night” in a nod to Puvi’s heritage.
Öösel has all your bedroom-to-bar needs covered with robes, slip dresses (including the Long V Neck Slip Dress in leopard, tops, trousers, shorts and sleep masks (maybe leave the latter at home). Standout pieces such as the Double Breasted Robe in Ruby Dot (which is particularly versatile) are made of 14-momme silk-satin and have luxurious touches such as abalone-shell buttons and French seams. Wear it at home or out and about as a trench draped over tailored pants and a camisole.
Founded by Katie Kolodinski in 2014, this silk label is based in Tallebudgera Valley, Queensland. Known for its ’90s-style slinky silk slip dresses, soft shirting and relaxed separates, Silk Laundry is a label you can invest in knowing it will take you from season to season.
Our pick is the ’90s slip dress in chocolate polka dot, which flows effortlessly against the body and can be worn in the colder months with a sweater and sneakers.
Sydney-based Pip Vassett’s luxury bedding store first made a name for itself in 2013 with its lived-in-style homewares and soft-hued natural-fibre bedding.
The label has since evolved to apply its laissez-faire appeal to what we wear to bed and around the house. The label’s pyjamas are made with same 100 per cent pure linen used for its signature bedding. There are classic slip dresses, robes and button-down short-sleeve shirts (with the option of matching pants or shorts in colour ways such as dove grey, blue, stripe, kohl, khaki and white). There’s a distinctive ease to the 100 per cent linen pants in blue, which have a paper-bag waistband and a drop-waisted slouchy fit that works as well with a blazer and trainers as it does padding barefoot around the house.
Bertie Slippers was born after Sydney-based publicist Lib Hutton came across her husband Will Carter’s vast collection of hotel slippers mid spring clean. The comfy footwear hits the sweet spot between around-the-house slip-on and smart loafer.
“There wasn’t a lot out there that wasn’t a Gucci slipper – something really stylish but [also something you could] really bash around in,” says Hutton. “There wasn’t anything on the market that was … affordable and minimal.”
The husband and wife duo chose the name “Bertie” as a playful nod to the shoe’s design inspiration – the Prince Albert loafer. The unisex shoe is currently available in three colours – hunter green, mulberry red and peacoat navy. And the footwear is ethically made in China with velvet and a 100 per cent leather sole. For added pomp, Bertie offers a gold embroidered monogramming option.
Online lifestyle studio Alex and Trahanas curates the kind of whimsical, authentic pieces one might pick up on a European holiday. Alongside Italian linen garments and one-of-a-kind hand-painted Puglian ceramics, the Sydney studio’s founders, Alexandra Heard and Heleena Trahanas, stock Venetian label Vibi Venezia’s Furlane slippers.
Having discovered Vivi Venezia on their travels, the duo convinced the Italian sisters and owners, Viola and Vera Arrivabene, that Alex and Trahanas would be a worthy merchant for their wares. The Furlane follows the same shoe design as those traditionally worn by Venice’s iconic gondoliers. The cotton slippers with a rubber sole are said to be worn by the gondoliers so as not to damage the gondolas’ paint. The shoes – available in inferno burgundy, georgina pink and midnight navy – bring a bit of European leisure to any ensemble.
Designed, cut and made in Melbourne, Diana is an online project from Chiara Ippoliti, a former Pet Shop Girls owner. Like at her former retail store, everything is customised.
The Dot Crepe Notch lapel shirt is a luxury take on the pyjama top, made from the label’s best-selling mid-weight fabric, which is 20 per cent cotton and 80 per cent viscose and from New Zealand. It’s slightly double breasted and falls on the body incredibly well, whether you have curves or a big or small bust. It comes with matching pants if you feel like wearing it as a full set, which looks great dressed up at night with heels. The label has also mastered the sexy lace slip camisole, which is not overly fitted so that it’s flattering on a range of body types. Worn on its own, or over the top of a crisp white T-shirt, the French lace detailing is heavenly.
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on May 22, 2019. Some details and prices may have changed since publication.