Missing Holidays? Tigerlily's Latest Campaign Will Transport You Straight Back

Tigerlily is one of those brands that’s instantly recognisable—easily distinguishable amongst the thousands of other swimwear brands that have burst onto the scene since it launched in 2000. Unique textiles and prints, coupled with unexpected detailing through embellishments, makes Tigerlily the ultimate ‘boho’ brand.

Recently, we travelled to Los Angeles with the Tigerlily team to go behind the scenes on its autumn 2018 campaign shoot. Tigerlily is always on the hunt for a unique location for its campaign shoots—to really capture the essence and spirit of the collection. This time, the team travelled to one of the most Instagrammed houses in Los Angeles, in Venice Beach.

While on the shoot, we sat down with Amelia Mather, Tigerlily’s creative director, to find more about the direction the brand is heading in, how to find the right swimsuit, and what swim trends we’ll see next. Read on for the interview, and our behind-the-scenes shots.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

Who What Wear Australia: Tigerlily shot the Spicewood campaign in an incredible house in Venice Beach, California. What made you choose that location?

Amelia Mather: After shooting our last collection in Northern Ibiza with lots of blues and yellows, we were drawn to a more earthy palette. The desert theme of the house really won us over. Our campaign photographer, Sylve Coless, actually suggested it after looking at our references. The house had the best of both worlds; it was in the really cool beachy area of California, but it also had a very desert feel with the plants and colour palette. And also the light—it had that really beautiful southern Californian soft, hazy light, without having to go out to Joshua Tree or Utah.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

WWW: How does the aesthetic fit in with the collection?

AM: It was rustic, but not shabby—it was polished and clean. We knew the collection would look amazing against those white-washed walls. And the pool as well—we don’t feel very comfortable shooting without that water element, obviously because we’re a swimwear brand. We also loved that Moroccan style where you can’t tell from the outside what is inside. From the outside you just see dusty walls, but inside it’s a total oasis.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

WWW: What was the inspiration behind the collection?

AM: With Spicewood, it started with a palette of rust, terra cotta, and earthy colours. Once we decided that, we did a trip to California and Austin, Texas which made us fall in love with vintage clothing again. We’ve always loved vintage at Tigerlily, but it was trending quite hard and then it kind of died. After this trip we fell in love with it again because the unexpected pieces we picked up. There were a lot of Eastern European textiles, really intricate folds, lots of embroidery, lots of paisley. We always have a muse that inspires the garments because we need to visualise someone wearing the collection, so for this it was a free-spirited, artistic, eclectic girl who mixes her vintage back with her leather.

We also had fabrics created exclusively for Tigerlily in this collection. They were hand-loomed by a small family-owned business in India. They take so long to develop—they put about an extra month onto development time and an extra month onto production time which is a lot in fashion supply chain terms. But having unique fabrics is so cool so it’s worth it.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

WWW: How do you go about sourcing inspiration for each collection?

AM: We often go on sourcing trips around the world. Sometimes it’s just a feeling we get, and we’re like yes, we need to go there! But we’ve been collecting textiles and garments for over 13 years, so we’ve got quite an archive. Sometimes you’ll have one piece that keeps popping up or you’ll collect a couple of pieces from one region like Morocco and then we’ll decide to go there and explore that further. But the reasons for choosing the places is really broad—it could be a palette, a muse, a destination or an experience. It’s about adapting what we pick up on those trips to the Tigerlily aesthetic. We’re not about rehashing or cloning vintage items. We always want to do it in a refreshing way that pays homage to what we’re drawing on, but still feels new.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

WWW: What are your plans for global expansion?

AM: We now do international shipping, which is very exciting. We’d love to expand with store overseas but we’re taking it a little bit at a time. We have great wholesale accounts in the US and Europe so hopefully we’ll have a bit more of a presence over there.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

WWW: Do you have any practical tips for choosing the right bikini or swimsuit for your body shape?

AM: The best advice is to go somewhere you can try on a variety of shapes. Swimwear is so personal so the bigger variety you have, the better. You do need to try things you wouldn’t normally go for—you just need to get it on the body and see. Department stores or stores like Swimwear Galore, Sunburn, Big Swim are all great. And I think for your own self-esteem, I like to go have a spray tan and moisturise before I do it. You just feel better, so make it a bit of an outing.


(Image credit: Stephanie Squadrito for Who What Wear Australia)

WWW: What do you think is the biggest swimwear trend this summer?

AM: It’s all about textures and plains, and I think we’re not going to see as many prints. In terms of silhouette, the one-piece is having a massive resurgence. When you’re off the sand you can wear it back with your maxi skirt, your denim shorts. The high-cut legline is moving into the mainstream now. For bikinis, the bralette shape with a bit more structure and a bit more support is trending as well.

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Amanda Bardas