We exist in shades of light and dark, waxing and waning like the moon. There is no lightness without the rich complexity of the dark, that moody landscape that haunts our dreams and houses our deepest desires. Darkness evokes the meaty marrow of life itself: passion and pleasure, anger and grief, the velvety night sky dotted with stars. When we embrace the darkness alongside the light, we emerge deeper and stronger, with the sharp and multi-faceted intensity of a gemstone. Black Mountain, the second collection from Australian label KALAURIE, plumbs the depths of this darkness to create a collection of romantic pieces that evoke a dark and twisting fairytale, an intimate narrative of the enduring struggle to find ourselves.
Inspired by the experience of climbing “the black mountain,” and confronting the dark power of our own insecurities, doubts, and self-loathing as we attempt to ascend towards a summit of self-realization, designer Kalaurie Karl-Crooks has crafted a collection that exudes both expressive emotion and elegant simplicity. Each piece in the collection tells a story, full of purpose and personality, injecting classic shapes with an undercurrent of moody romance and dark drama.
Black Mountain harnesses an energy that feels both personal and timeless, a coming of age collection that is equal parts functional and conceptual, textured with an emotional depth that keeps you returning to the photos again and again. It embraces the spectrum of dark and light, toeing the line between heaviness and levity, emanating strength with a quiet intensity that reminds us to keep moving forward in the face of doubts and self loathing, to accept the darkness but move through it as we continue upwards on the mountain, continue to create ourselves day by day, minute by minute.
The lookbook, shot by the designer’s partner Vlad Savin, who has a stunning knack for evoking complex emotion through seemingly simple shots, is crisp and compelling, set against vivid nature scenes washed in moody black and white. Model Imogen Tonkin is breathtaking as a heroine carefully making her way through an dark landscape, her heavy eyebrows and perpetual pout juxtaposing brooding vulnerability with a set jaw and deep defiance. The result is visceral, leaping out off the page towards you with an emotional complexity not often seen in fashion photography. Black Mountain does not shy away from recognizing the haunting shadows of doubt and insecurity, but the story that it tells is one of redemption and realization, a rich and powerful narrative that reminds us we must use the darkness in order to ultimately find the light.
Can’t get enough? Check out the full collection here.