Zimmermann’s Fall 2024 Ready-To-Wear collection, In Illustration, was presented at Pavillon Cambon during Paris Fashion Week. It’s a craft Nicky Zimmermann has built her design process on, and this season is no exception: turning a magnifying glass on the art of fashion illustration for Fall 2024.

Taking cues from the 1920s when fashion illustration was the sole source of consuming fashion content, prints have been sourced from pages of legacy fashion magazines. An illustration from Australian actor Barry Otto created in the 70s from a past career, discovered serendipitously and sourced via the Otto family adorns the opening look – a freehand sketch on a graphic silk burnout dress with dramatic winged sleeves. Nouveau wallpaper prints and flapper silhouettes are modernised in plaited spaghetti-fringe draping and delicate lace chiffon dresses are tied up by oversized bustier bows with lingerie-inspired appeal.

Denim comes through in untraditional silhouettes, wide trouser pants and spacious blouses with pussy bows. Textural layers add warmth for the season with soft knits, fluffy tube dresses and velvet draped tops. Ample outerwear offers an eclectic mix of fabrications and styles like a long leopard print silk coat; or a buttery leather oversized bomber jacket.

Following her inspiration, the Bloomsbury group – an informal group of prominent artists and writers in early 20th century including Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell – also became a point of influence; infusing the collection with a dusty colour palette and nods to a past era; modernised in fabrications and innovative details. Chocolate lace body suits with velvet trousers, panelled chiffon slip silhouettes in sepia tones and checked tailoring. Simple caped dresses and glittering gowns provide options no matter the mood. Flared godets lined with tulle add interest and flounce to key looks. Leopard and ASMR sequins weave through the collection from looks to accessories.

Air and volume are key themes of the collection – capturing the sense of movement and lightness from the original sketch in the true garment is a point of obsession for Zimmermann. Bold voluminous suiting, batwing sleeves and paint smock dresses in illustration and on runway are one in the same as shape, colour, even mood and energy are transformed from idea to reality.