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Behind the print

An interview with ZZ's head designer, Seraina Fontana



 Tell us about the inspiration behind the Iris Palm print

While we might be known for our floral prints, Karla, one of ZZ's founders, and I have always had a deep love for vintage stripes. Every ZZ collection features multiple stripes, whether bold or understated. For the Iris Palm print, after I painted the iris leaf motif, we discovered that arranging it in a repetitive linear pattern beautifully combined our floral signature with our passion for stripes. We developed it in a two-tone colourway to keep it minimal and classic, creating a unique print that touches on both our love for florals and vintage stripes.
Can you share with us the process of designing a ZZ print?
At Zulu & Zephyr, designing a print begins with our love for floral motifs and silhouettes of nature. We often draw inspiration from vintage references, such as old photographs, stories, clothing, and especially vintage upholstery!           
We start by gathering visual references and creating initial sketches based on these inspirations. We experiment with different compositionsand scales, meditate on colour to ensure the print reflects the Zulu & Zephyr aesthetic - cool yet beautiful.
After refining the design, we produce test prints to perfect the colours and details. Seeing the final print on fabric is always an exciting moment, as it brings our vision to life!



Do you have a favourite way to style the Iris Palm print? Are there any fabrications, colours, or styles we should be pairing?
The Iris Palm print is featured on a beautiful mid-weight textured cotton linen blend, giving it depth. It’s neutral colourway offers incredible versatility, allowing the pieces to be styled in numerous ways.
One of my favourite looks is pairing the print with a classic poplin shirt, oversized knit or a sleek bodysuit; we love doubling our swimwear as undergarments. Additionally, our seaglass knitwear, in its subtle shade, pairs perfectly with the washed black and natural tones of the print, adding a pop of colour.
We also love mixing textures to add more interest to the look—don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics! 


For people that find wearing prints daunting, how do you suggest styling them?
Go for a neutral two-tone print! I find these the easiest way to try out wearing a print, not to say more timeless. Wearing a print on the bottom, rather than on the top, can be a less daunting way to introduce prints into your wardrobe. Pair the printed piece with solid colour, clean-lined basics to balance out the busyness of the print, creating a balanced and effortless look.