Virginia Martin x Bul Biarritz collection

We interviewed Virginia Martin, designer and founder of Australian fashion label bul regarding the latest Biarritz collection.

Tell us why you chose Biarritz, France as the current collections destination muse?
Being half French myself I was instantly drawn to the Biarritz alongside its unique architecture, vibrant spirit and earthly beauty. The town is located within French Basque Country and is an epicenter for surfing in France, so being an avid surfer there was even greater intrigue to visit. I remember the first time I explored Biarritz in 2016 and feeling a buzzing energy of the surrounding ocean, land and coastal township. Returning again last year sparked that initial joy and it only felt right to have Biarritz play muse to create the next collection from.
How do you create a collection based on a destination? What aspect of Biarritz did you pull from and how does it reflect throughout the collection?

There are always so many places where inspiration comes from for me; I look to every aspect of a place to create. It could be as vast as a coastline and mountainous land formations or smaller details like a piece of furniture, a native plant or an interaction and stories told by locals throughout my travels.
Biarritz instantly inspired neutral tones that reflected the welcoming coastline and hazy sun washed mornings that greeted each day. Hues of sea shadow and cornflower blue mirror the ocean, deep greens liken to the Pyrenees neighboring forest and a bright red nods to ‘rouge basque’, a colour prominently featured throughout the town.
The seasons feature print is an abstract floral that came from native flora I saw swaying in the wind and footwear was inspired by my journeys along the promenade with stacked heels and squared off, angular toes reflecting architectural lines.
Being a town based on the coast and with such connection to the land, natural fibres of linen, textural cotton and silk were used alongside delicate knits and warming woolen blends. I also wanted to tie in a very French aspect to the collection by way of ‘breton-like’ stripes and a statement ‘beret’ accessory.
What is one of your favourite things to do in Biarritz?
Visiting Cité de l’Océan. Being a keen surfer and forever drawn to anything surfing related, this museum dedicated to the sport is absolutely incredible, it explores Biarritz’s relationship with the ocean including a virtual reality surf experience. The architecture of the building itself is a sight in itself making it intriguing for all, not just surfers, it’s definitely a must see.

As the collection is French inspired, do you have favoured films or music from this area?
The film ‘Breathless’ has always been a favourite French Film of mine and music wise, anything by Serge Gainsbourg always transports me back to my time throughout France.
Lastly, what is your tip for surviving the cooler months ahead?
As Pacific Fair is a much warmer climate then down here in Melbourne there are a lot of lightweight knitwear and cropped outerwear that will have you set for (your slightly warmer) Winter ahead. However in Melbourne where the weather is always keep us on our toes my season staples have been a mix of layered pieces partnered with a good coat. My collection go-to’s are the Normandie Skivvys and Avenue Trench or Babord Coat.