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Emma Mulholland x Pared's Totally Rad Collab

In the most inspired partnership this side of Romy and Michelle, Sydney, Australia based designer Emma Mulholland has joined forces with Pared for the most effervescent line of sunglasses we’ve seen all season. How do they look so, like, totally rad? Perhaps it’s from all those views of 80’s teen classics like Pretty in Pink, an aesthetic that has provided Mulholland with design fodder for days. Milk Made spoke to the designer about the new collaboration and the ‘oh so very’ inspirations behind it.

Can you tell us about your background as a designer?

I have had a label for almost 4 years now. I started it straight after I finished studying and being chosen to show my graduation collection at Australian Fashion Week. My style has developed from then, and I have produced 6 collections and 2 solo shows at Australian Fashion Week. The label has a strong focus on print and colour with simple and wearable shapes. My style came from making things that weren’t necessarly available at the time, when I was studying the only kind of colourful and printed clothes I could get my hands on were ill fitting vintage clothes. I wanted something that still looked and fitted nicely.

Australia’s beachy scenery is definitely a theme to your wear, how much of a place does the beach hold in your heart?

The beach has been a huge part of my life. Its like a religion to my family, we always joke that my parents’ cure for everything is to get under salt water; rain, hail, or shine my Dad swims in the ocean everyday, either to surf or do laps. I love it too, I have just gotten back from a trip around America and there is seriously nothing quite like our beaches here. The surfing culture and fashion from the 70s, 80s and 90s is a constant source of inspiration for my brand.

What about the 80’s Brat Pack culture inspired you to create such playful shades?

I love John Hughes movies and have always been obsessed with the casting of the 80s ‘Brat Pack’ that starred in the films for years. From Duckie and Andy in Pretty in Pink to Bender from The Breakfast Club those characters in my mind have such strong iconic styles and looks, when I decided to do the sunglasses I wanted to do something distinctive and different, I played around with several ideas before settling on the wave temple, I thought it was best to keep the craziness to the side as a posed to having too much going on the face which I think can look a bit funny sometimes, so from the front they look classic cats eye then from the side you can see the detail .

What type of person do you envision wearing them?

I think because there is 3 different styles/colour ways they are really distinctive and that it allows for a wide range of people to wear them. I think anyone who wants something a little different but not too over the top will wear them. At the end of the day they are a great flattering shape on the face with a hint of wackiness to make them special. Thats what we tried to convey with the shoot, we envisioned all these strong crazy characters wearing them in different ways.

In the grand scheme of designer shades, where do you find your line?

I think they go alongside Karen Walker, Henry Holland for Le Specs Old Ksubi eyewear

When designing a new line, what is your approach?

I like to come up with a theme/direction to take, then I reasearch lots of things to do with it; watch movies, find books, and just Googling. Then I start working on the print direction and colour scheme.

What do you think is the coolest thing you’ve done so far? What’s your favorite piece?

I love the grid brat pack sunglasses, they turned out so cool. They have 2 different layers of acetate and the grid is carved out of that so you can see the colour come through underneath. Also the new silk ‘flaming galah’ bomber from my winter collection might be my new fave piece of clothing, its a variation of my very first ‘cold blooded chiller’ silk bomber that I still regularly get emails about.

You said you’d wanted to collaborate with Pared for a while, and since that’s been accomplished, do you see any other collaborations in the future?

I really enjoy collaborating – it gives you a chance to do things that you wouldn’t normally imagine being able to do. Sunglasses were always something I dreamed of doing but had no idea of really how to go about it. Sam from Pared knows all the technical things and is also really creative, so we could sit down and work out what was actually possible and bounce off ideas that way. There are a lot of different collaborations I would like to do, I would really like to work with a sports wear brand and a shoe brand.

Do you think you’ll continue working with Pared?

Hopefully if this is successful I would love to look at doing another collection or different variations of the style.

Check out Emma’s website to shop this collection as well as her previous work.

Photography and Creative Direction – Byron Spencer

Styling by Sarah Starkey

Models–Tallulah, Marcele, and Louise from Chic

Hair by Michele McQuillan for Fudge

Hair colour by Kathy Gilbert @ Crown

Makeup by Victoria Baron

All Jewelery from Punjaban Diva

Photography Assistant – Natalie Vandrich

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