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After occupying a place at creative agency Studio
Bomba in June last year, talented twosome Erin
Vanhaeften and Kate Wilks have moved their label On
A Whim to the front of 324 Oxford Street, filling the
gap left when the studio vacated the premises.
The new store – which they share with Virgil Coffee –
is now the only place devotees of the label can get
their hands on the goods.
“As we have this great space to work in, we’ve
decided to focus all our energy on the store,” they
tell us, “which means you can only find our On
A Whim (and On A Him – watch this space) clothes
and accessories here.
“Having the small space allowed us to start
getting into the vibe of our own store. Now we’re
growing all aspects of our business: ready-to-wear
men’s and women’s clothing, homewares and gifts,
and custom-made, including bridal.”
The duo believes that having the opportunity
to work in a collaborative, hands-on environment
with other creatives is smart practice. “We are able
to work together, share skills and meet each other’s
customers. We’ve been tinkering with On A Whim
since we graduated, so we don’t know anything else
than to get down-and-dirty and make stuff.”
Nothing says spring like a bunch of
blooms. Fox and Rabbit stylist Rebecca
Const (left) gives us the seasonal lowdown,
and reveals how to find quality flowers
any time of year.
Is spring really the best season for flowers?
Spring is certainly the most abundant season. The varieties
are incredible, fragrant and colourful. Many favourites such
as lilac, peony, lily of the valley and ranunculi are available.
What are you loving right now?
I’m a huge fan of texture – so any kind of berry, pod,
nut, seed or twig that’s going to give me something
unusual to work with is always on my radar. I can never
get enough lush greenery: Japanese maple and broad
oak are among my favourites this year.
Any hot trends you can share?
Organic and unstructured floristry is increasing in
popularity every year. Unkempt arrangements are far
more natural in structure, and more florists are jumping on
board this style, making it more accessible to the public.
What should we look for, in terms of quality and value?
Just like fruit and vegies, don’t be afraid to pick up, touch
and smell flowers before purchasing. Brown petals, slimy
stems and smelly water all indicate that the product is
either old or not properly cared for. Look for flowers with
tight or closed blooms, to elongate their life.
Where do you go for a fresh flower hit?
n Natural Art Flowers, Claremont
n Zinnia Floral Designs, Subiaco
n Twigged Flowers, Perth
n Lime Flowers, East Fremantle
How would you describe your style?
Unstructured, untraditional and colourful!
So what are they making? “Clean lines, uniform/
useful dressing and well-worn pieces. By well-worn, we
don’t mean old, we mean things that have been used
and maintained, loved and cared for. We try to make our
clothes without trends in mind, and instead focus on the
fabrication and the fit. We want On A Whim to develop its
own style that is recognised through the seasons.”
They describe their style as “fun and kitschy”,
alongside a mix of solid everyday garments. “We have
some great linen knit tees, but then we also have a men’s
shirt with a Japanese lucky fish print. Having two of us
bringing different ideas and styles to the table, when we
both solidly agree on something, we know it’s a goer.”
Erin and Kate’s go-to stores for:
n Clothing – “There’s us, but sometimes you need to
treat yourself, so that would be Varga Girl, Periscope,
Flannel and Alpha60.”
n Homewares and gifts – “Remedy, Angove Street
Collective, op shops, The Re Store, International Beer
Shop (we like eats and drinks) and us!”
n Shoes – “Hunter Store, hands down.”
On A Whim, Studio Bomba,
324 Oxford Street, Leederville.
HAVE A LEND
Need a special-occasion dress, like,
yesterday, but don’t want to splash
your cash? Borrow it, baby!
Little Black Book
66 Hawkstone Street, Cottesloe.
Shop 3, 213 Walcott Street, Mount Lawley.
My Sisters Boudoir
19/181 Oxford Street, Leederville.
ON A WHIM
Erin Vanhaeften (left) and Kate Wilks call their style
“fun and kitschy” (photography Natasja Kremers).
Photography Angela Higgins.
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