Verner <em>Closed wrap dress, square singlet and double pants</em> 2022, from the <em>Burlap on Basics</em> collection, spring–summer 2022. Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2022<br/>
© Ingrid Verner. Photo: Agnieszka Chabros


(est. 2012, Melbourne)

Founded by Ingrid Verner, Verner is a womens’ streetwear label with a strong focus on artistic collaboration. Verner’s aesthetic is defined by utilitarian, sportswear-inspired silhouettes and notions of ‘dressing down’, using fashion to explore the idea of an ‘Australian’ vernacular and cultural identity. Collections are typically small in scale, with limited-edition runs of one-off prints and collaborations with like-minded artists, and an additional focus on ethical production.

Showcased in Melbourne Now is a new work as well as an outfit from Verner’s spring–summer 2022 Burlap on Basics collection. This collection marked Verner’s return to solo studio sessions after several successful collaborative seasons. Burlap on Basics dives deep into the world of prints and patterns, borrowing from the language of textiles – in particular, burlap – to create a re-imagined, futuristic ‘sack’-like print that draws on techniques of trompe l’oeil as well as architectural sensibilities. In this collection, mixed proportions and optical illusions take archetypal polka dots and stripes into new territories, while false layers allude to more structural influences. Fading blues evoke summer skies, while Chux-like graphic blues and whites unexpectedly recall the domestic sphere. Here we see two disparate references, united in their localised everyday-ness, blurring and cross-pollinating notions of home, work and leisure.

Ingrid Verner studied at RMIT University and in 2006 won the MFF National Designer award for her first label, TV. Relaunching as Verner in 2012, the new label moved towards defining an Australian aesthetic beyond cliché. Verner collections typically employ contrasting techniques and disparate ideas that are woven together, incorporating original hand-drawn and photographic prints as well as unique textile elements. Recent print collaborations have included a collection with award-winning Gunditjmara and Torres Strait Islander artist Lisa Waup, and with Melbourne artist Gian Manik.