This past Friday Bronx and Banco designer Natalie De’Banco debuted her newest collection ‘Burnt by the Sun’ at Pier 45 on a fittingly bright and sunny day. Models sauntered down the riverside runway wearing intricately braided dresses, voluminous yet skimpy tulle gowns and animal print streetwear. Fashion editors, influencers and street style stars gathered to see the Australian designer’s newest pieces —we spotted Babba Rivera, Tenicka Boyd and Irina Kro Eicke there.
Travel is a huge source of inspiration for De’Banco and this Spring Summer 23 runway presentation which was inspired by safari was no different. “In a nutshell, my creative process starts with a song, then a trip, then a sketch,” says De’Banco. A lover of nature and animals, De’Banco recently realized one of her biggest travel dreams which was going on safari and distilled her experience into her designs. “I have a tremendous love for animals and feel connected to nature. Because of this, I wanted to design a collection inspired by that experience,” says De’Banco.
She also simultaneously designed for the modern woman going on safari. “This collection is an updated version of what she used to wear on safari,” says De’Banco. “We took her classic khaki jumpsuit and updated it, giving it a shorter short and a new print. That said, I did want to keep the colors authentic by incorporating the whites and golds, but I’m happy to leave khaki in 2009.”
Aside from the neutral-colored pieces, the collection also featured many standout bright pieces in colors like coral, lime green and cherry red. Bronx and Banco is famous for creating party-ready pieces and evening gowns and ‘Burnt by the Sun’ featured pieces that would look equally good at a fancy dinner on vacation, New Years Eve party or movie premiere. “Whether it be a holiday, destination, seasonal event – we want her to feel comfortable and confident, like she is in a “second skin,” says De’Banco.
While the materials were bold, they were also sourced with sustainability in mind. “This season more than ever, we are exploring sustainable fabrications, more nontraditional natural and recycled materials like metals, ropes, and hand crochets fabrics,” says De’Banco. De’Banco usage of fringe in many dresses accentuated both the female body and created extra drama walking down the runway.
During her first NYFW collection shown outdoors, De’Banco also included menswear in her collection for the first time. Models wore sparkling sleeveless shirts and colorful pants, and many matched the female model they were walking down the runway with. The 61 look collection featured dresses and jumpsuits with revealing cutouts so Bronx and Banco worked with undergarment brand Commando for additional coverage in nude tones. The cast of models was extremely diverse both in body type and race, but aesthetically unified through long braids. The designer herself closed the show walking down the pier with her models rocking the same look.
To close the show on a sunny day, Bronx and Banco invited show attendees for cocktails at nearby Drift In to celebrate. Guests sipped on Casamigos and Hampton Water Rosé to toast the colorful and cool new collection which was inspired by safari.
Travel always serves as a source of inspiration for De’Banco. “I can’t design without traveling and exploring new horizons,” says De’Banco. “Either places I’ve been recently or have been in the past, I pick a subject that inspires me and get carried away from there.”