Lillian McKnight • 31 July 2012

Chilly as it was yesterday, it seemed incongruous to be visiting BAM Brands Sydney headquarters to catch a preview of the High Summer offerings by BAM’s eclectic stable of labels. Greeted with a sun-drenched studio and a toasty cup of green tea, however, it was more than evident that the new season is certainly visible on the horizon, and what a season it’s going to be.

Capturing the warm weather vibe with a suitably nautical new collection, Chip Chop!’s latest offering is a peppy take on the classic Breton stripe. Founded in 2006, the brand found a place in the Australian fashion establishment through its iconic collection of totes emblazoned with irresistible puns and slogans. Having matured, however, Chip Chop! now offers relaxed apparel. While grown up, it doesn’t part with the idiosyncratic quirks that made the label a household name. Striped dresses in airy silk have been injected with popping pinks and yellows, while a 70s flavoured jumpsuit is emblazoned with the phrase “Bonjour marin!” (“Hello sailor!”). These are summer staples with a little bit of sass thrown in.

Sydney label Milk From A Thistle stick to their impressively realised digital prints for High Summer. As well as a capsule selection of classic stripes, this season sees relaxed maxis and silk shifts printed with a fox luxuriating in a meadow abundant with summer flowers. Such eccentric visions make Danielle Atkinson’s label truly unique. Last season’s Stallion print, however, remains a real highlight, particularly on a sharply tailored blazer and co-ords.

Tettmann.Doust, launched earlier in the year by Melbourne designers Naomi Tettmann and Elke Doust, has established its directional aesthetic very early in the game. A digital insect print on light-as-air silk pieces also translates to the silhouette of particularly notable leather shorts, with a fluid shape almost akin to beetle wings. Painstakingly intricate beading on tops and beautifully printed silk pants are indicative of the artistry behind this young label.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be High Summer without swimwear. Fresh from showing their wares in Miami, Bridgette Gale and Kesta Anderson of Amore & Sorvete have something for every certified beach bum. There’s longline 50s bikinis for the bombshells, slick athletic costumes in sorbet shades and whimsically printed one pieces with too-cute frills for the girly girl in all of us. Intrinsically, Amore & Sorvete is a highly feminine label that approaches swimwear with the kind of flirty fun that is practical as well as pretty, which is really the ideal formula for a cossie.

Wet & Wendy isn’t scared of the elements. Designer Anna Martino is all about high quality wet weather gear. If you’ve ever been victim to the tragedy of a two-dollar umbrella, you’ll know that quality is key when it comes to shielding yourself from the rain. For High Summer, Martino’s raincoats get a colourful makeover, and a lightweight beach umbrella is added to the mix. No excuses for getting soaking wet or sunburnt, people!

With an ever increasing list of overseas stockists, menswear label Vanguard is on the rise. Channeling 90s surf culture with left-of-centre prints (many the result of collaborations with local artists) and vintage washes, the butter soft tees are the kind of things us girls would be more than happy to steal off our boyfriends.

It may still be nippy out but the BAM Brands collective has us looking forward to the mercury getting higher.