Inspired more by muses than mentors, Nymphets designer Rose Thomas taught herself to sew at home, taking little pieces of advice from family and friends and experimenting with different fabrics until she created "something wearable".

Nymphets’ youthful exuberance owes a lot to this experimental process, and the label’s irreverent slogans (“Nymphets gets U wet!”) and bright colours are strongly influenced by internet culture.

The clothes light-heartedly challenge gender and beauty norms: think young men wearing satin fairy skirts and tights, and girls in loose suits covered with prints of money and jellyfish. Despite the contemporary influences and digital aesthetic, there is an element of nostalgia, evoking childhood dress-ups. Rose loves seeing someone who normally wouldn’t stray from a black t-shirt and jeans, "prancing around like a princess" in Nymphets clothing.

Photo by Adam Bryce. Image © Nymphets.

Recently Nymphets has begun self-referencing, using images of people wearing her clothes for her new prints. Photography, installation and performance are also being integrated into the brand. While international interest grows – Nymphets was recently shot for Australia’s iD magazine – their audience and creative friends continue to be the primary focus of the label. 

Text by Arielle Walker. Banner image by Frances Carter.

Last published September 2014.

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