There's something about the casual, easygoing vibe of VaVa Voodoo that had me from the very start. My interest in Caslazur began with the loose denim boyfriend short, then the silk bomber tied around the waist styling, to the slouchy pants and then possibly the addition of the Birks (which I am still on the fence about but I couldn't see these looks styled with anything but that). Channelling the effortless style and quintessential cool that is Bondi Beach (I can definitely attest to this), designer Cassie Snelgar has combined elements of her past and present to create a very wearable, diverse collection. You know I'm not a prints kind of girl but I'm totally okay with the supernatural voodoo references (probably had something to do with all the American Horror Story: Coven I've been watching) and the skull and bones detailing of Cassie's hand drawn graphic prints is one to really appreciate. I was lucky enough to speak with the talented Cassie to find out more about her voodoo meets beach/ surf culture inspired collection.
You started out making scarves and your label eventually evolved to a fashion label. What has it been like transitioning from a sort of one-dimensional medium to a multi-faceted one?
CAS: CASLAZUR evolved from textiles and scarves into fashion organically. I love exploring mediums for design and creativity, so trying my hand at new things is something which I find really fun and challenging. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't, and in those cases it is important to remember that I have a security safe in my garage where I can hide them! Creating a fashion label from scratch definitely takes a lot of energy and sacrifice - but the excitement you feel when you see your clothes on amazing women like Kylie Minogue or Jen Hawkins makes it all worthwhile.
Caslazur has really made a name for itself because of its signature prints. Talk us through the print you've created for this collection.
CAS: I started as a textile designer for other labels so this is an area where I feel really comfortable and have a lot of fun. With VAVA VOODOO I was wanting to create a fresh interpretation of the voodoo aesthetic, something glamorous and intoxicating. I wanted to use them as a way of adding a slightly macabre, exotic glamour to the collection. The skulls, bones and chains of teeth all come from spells to bring love and good fortune.
Voodoo isn't exactly a practice associated with our culture. Where did the Voodoo inspiration come from?
CAS: I grew up in South Africa and our gardener was a Sangoma. I was terrified and fascinated by his rituals and artefacts when I was little. Now it is something which I love to explore on an aesthetic level. When I moved to Sydney I was really inspired by the beach and nonchalant vibe of Bondi. The lifestyle inspired the shapes and attitude of the collection. Bringing in the Voodoo aesthetic was a way of fusing my roots with my new environment.
VAVA VOODOO is very much global in scope but still tailored to local style sensibilities. Do you identify more with your Australian side or do you see yourself more as a global citizen.
CAS: VAVA VOODOO is very strongly inspired by my Australian side, but I think it is clear to see the influence that my travels and life experiences have had on me, even in this collection. When I am in Sydney I feel very at home and I love to think of myself as an adopted Australian but with the amount of travel I am doing at the moment I would have to say that my citizenship status is very much a global one!
Your collection was inspired and designed on the doorstep of Bondi Beach. What are your favourite hangouts in the area?
CAS: There are so many but my favourite hangout for breakkie has to be Bondi Picnic! I always order their fresh young coconuts and poached eggs- it is a weekend ritual! For drinks and some delicious sliders you can't beat Bondi Hardware. It has such a cool, lazy vibe but there is still a really good buzz... many a drunken evening has been spent in that fine establishment!
What are your style tips for the summer?
CAS: My biggest tip for a hot Australian summer would be to keep your style effortless, your face dewy-fresh, and your bikini close by! If there is a comfy shoe trend I am all over that- think New Balance sneakers in fun colours or Birkenstocks for day time. For easy glamour I love printed silks that go from beach to bar like our CASLAZUR Elula Pants or our Sangoma Kaftan. For any time of year- but especially in the heat of summer- if you can look cool and comfortable you will always stand out in the crowd.
Shop VAVA Voodoo here