On a crazy, wet day in April 2015, I looked desperately for a break in the weather. A massive coastal low pressure system hung over Sydney, dumping an extraordinary amount of rain. It was less than a month until Fashfest, Canberra’s red carpet fashion event, where Solar Bare was to launch on opening night. Designers had to supply images of their label for their profile on the Fashfest website.
We were kind of house-bound on the northern beaches and the rain just kept falling. It seemed too cruel that we couldn’t get to the beach, as we were only in Sydney for the day. But then there was a small break in the clouds, and an intense 45 minute burst of sunshine.
Racing to Warriewood Beach to take full advantage was a challenge, steering through flooded streets and navigating massive puddles on Pittwater Rd. And it was worth every moment. Waterfalls poured off the headland, we'd never seen anything like it. The swell was massive and dangerous. It was wild and exciting to be there to wing our way through Solar Bare’s very first location shoot.
With me and one of my childhood besties as photographers, we clicked away in a bit of a frenzy to get some images of the first sample fashvests. Our daughters modelled in a quick burst, complaining and laughing at the pair of inexperienced fashion-photographer-mums calling directions and questioning what sort of shots might actually work.
It was also the first anniversary of the death of our mutual best friend. It was a significant day for us, charged with emotion and grief. But when the clouds revealed blue sky and the waterfalls provided an exceptional backdrop, we knew she was there with us. We felt energised and celebrated her wonderful spirited self for a brief time on the sand.
Solar Bare’s original prints are inspired by and showcase the vibrant patterns of the Great Barrier Reef. Angelfish is a colourful favourite. Not all fashfest styles have made it into production yet. The crop top was one of 13 designs in the launch collection, and was created specially for a younger audience – teenager and girls in their early 20s. But angelfish does feature in our limited edition Solar Bare bikini range.
I’ve just found a thumb drive with the images from that amazing day and thought it would be fun to share.