With Queensland’s borders closed last year, I knew that it was my opportunity to explore my own backyard, often overlooked in favour of far-away places. Packing my car and donning a new pair of RM Williams, I went bush, winding into western Queensland. I had the express purpose of checking in with customers, seeing how they were faring in times that meant tourists and local travellers alike had been limited; but I also knew that, despite the relative closeness, it was a chance to expand my horizons.
In subtropical Queensland, our winters are unique and somewhat enviable, uninhibited by the weather (unless there’s a bout of rain). This allows for unique opportunities for dressing - in the absence of needing to wear heavy coats and other items, we’re able to think of ways to ‘remix’ and utilise our summer clothes. On my trip, I wanted to watch what people wear, how that ties into their daily life, and how that could be reflected in Naudic pieces. Layering a jacket over a long-sleeve cotton shirt and pairing with not broken-in boots, I was ready for my days of exploring.
Shades of green
When looking for tones that could influence the collection, I looked to the landscape. In each town, an afternoon coffee break at a local cafe would be streamed with reflections from nearby streams, trickling through the ground and sparkling to the trees and clouds. In the bush, the red ochre soil contrasts with the greenery, shapes of which I had never seen before. Especially as the sun goes down, the leaves turn from deep forest to light fern green, illuminated by the golden sun. The outback has a spectrum of colours that traverse the seasons, especially paired with the key Naudic hues of neutrals, deeper shades, and metallics.
One of the most memorable stops on the trip was Charleville, situated nearly 700km west from Brisbane. Arriving into town and planning to stay for the day, I had lunch at the historic Hotel Corones Charleville Hotel, a grand old country pub which sits proudly in the main street. It’s a place that has always welcomed anyone passing through ... to the point that a tour guide told me the hotel is inhabited by ghosts. It was on the tour I saw how those old inhabitants lived and worked in the heat of summer, having grand parties in the hall, and crowding around the bar until early hours. I loved it so much, I decided to stay the night, booking into another hotel and doing a star gazing experience. Wearing my Naudic, layered with a heavy jacket and RM Williams boots, I looked at the moon, thinking of all those who had before, in the same place.
Enjoy Pathfinders, Part 1, launching February 25. A trans-seasonal collection for your autumn adventures, it’s a tribute to that journey through the Queensland countryside, rediscovering communities close to home. Hued in green, indigo blue, burnt orange, and mustard, with a trim of earthy red, it’s about returning to the world and ourselves. Explore again, enjoy the countryside, and experience new people and things.