The Model and Me: iland co.

The Model and Me: iland co. autumn-winter 2018

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, The Model and Me 67 Comments

Before I get down to the business of this post’s Model and Me offering, I need to catch you up with a little rant I was sharing last Friday on my Insta Story and in our Facebook Group

I don’t often rant in these spaces but I couldn’t keep silent on this one. The label that first inspired these Model and Me posts almost eight years ago – Metalicus – has done a 360 on its original brand, switching its target market to 20-year-olds. All this is the culmination of General Pants’ purchase of the label in 2016.

The new products and marketing are just awful. AWFUL. Think, suggestive poses and garments on  models and a famous influencer, not wearing much at all.  In emails to subscribers and on Instagram, they address us “babes” and offer advice on how to get a better booty. In this era of female empowerment and the #metoo movement, this is a huge backwards step.

The label that brought us layering and garments that took us from pregnancy to everyday wear has disappeared and morphed into something that resembles Kookai. It’s far from original and I’m perplexed as why they’ve even kept the name. Why not create a whole new label?

All images from its past have been taken down from social media and fan posts have been untagged if they don’t meet Metalicus’ new direction. 

I’ve been inundated with messages and comments from long-term Metalicus fans like me who cannot believe what has happened. They are unsubscribing and unfollowing in droves.

The thing is, the marketers of this brand don’t give two hoots. They really don’t want us oldies anywhere near their stores. Comments are not replied to. They just don’t care.

What they haven’t thought through is that their new target market is already saturated with similar offerings, the girls in that market (my daughter’s age) do not have our disposable income, they were probably dressed in Metalicus as kids by their mums (guilty!) and, if that wasn’t enough to decimate the cool factor, they will find it so not “on trend” to buy a label that can be found in their mum’s wardrobe.

Crazy Metalicus. Crazy. I’m breaking up with you. I take back all the recommendations I’ve made here on my blog and in my book. I don’t understand how you could destroy a great brand but I wish you luck. I look forward to other great Australian brands stepping in to fill the gap.


AHHH … that’s better … where was I?

This week I’m talking about one of my fave wardrobe garments, the kimono.

If you’re a regular around here, you’ll be up to speed with my love of iland co. This is a fabulous Australian brand whose designer Jodie Minto had the genius idea to offer kimonos in three different lengths – because we’re all not the same height and we all don’t want to dress the same.

AMEN to that.

Early autumn calls for light layers and there is nothing that layers to add interest to an outfit more than a kimono. I’ve long been a fan of this style of garment – my inner boho queen loves them so. They easily dress up a basic denim jeans, shorts or skirt outfit. 

The model

iland co. soft dusty pink leopard print chiffon kimono

iland co. soft dusty pink leopard print chiffon kimono (full length)

and me

iland co. kimono | Sussan top | Bohemian Traders jeans | FRANKiE4 Footwear MiA boots

iland co. kimono | Sussan top | Bohemian Traders jeans | FRANKiE4 Footwear MiA boots

iland co. kimono | Sussan top | Bohemian Traders jeans | FRANKiE4 Footwear MiA boots

iland co. kimono | Sussan top (not current)| Bohemian Traders jeans (I’m in size 30) | FRANKiE4 Footwear MiA boots

It’s hard to play favourites at the best of times but when you give me three different kimono lengths and I love them all? That’s tough. If I did have to choose, it’s the full-length … for its dramatic effect.

I love that these kimonos can be worn open but if you want a little security to ensure it will stay on, the invisible press studs offer that.

My thoughts on animal print are well documented but this combination of a large print with a soft pink colour is just The Business. The polyester chiffon fabric is a dream to wear – so floaty and just right for autumn. 

I’ve worn the kimonos back with two of my wardrobe staples. I love this as you can really take a basic jeans and white top up about six notches with the addition of a kimono.

The boots are new mid-heel faves from FRANKiE4 Footwear – they look so good on the foot and are a perfect shade of tan.

Want to win a $250 gift card to spend at iland co.? Head on over to Facebook for details on how to enter.

So, tell me do you love a kimono? Sad that labels you love change why you loved them in the first place?

The Model and Me: iland co.
* These pieces were gifted to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here

Comments 67

  1. Regarding Metalicus – I was thinking that when I saw the changes in their newsletter. I was wondering why the models were younger, the styles were what my daughters would probably be more interested in. WHY Metalicus? WHY????

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  2. I’ve been a long time blog reader and your support of Metalicus prompted me to check out the brand’s offerings whenever I was in Myer or passed their store. I read your post and I thought ‘Wow, they must have really changed for Nikki to retract her support!’ so I checked them out and my heart sank. I’m 26 and I am struggling to find clothes that are affordable, youthful and modest. I work with kids and most clothing pitched at someone my age just isn’t appropriate. I’m assuming they have done their market research and think that selling more of the same as other retailers will help their brand…

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  3. I’ve not bought from Metalicus for a few years now, but prior to this most of my wardrobe was made up and beautiful Metalicus layering pieces. Loved going in to see the staff who would offer such great styling advice. Now that I’m heading back to work I was hoping to visit one of my fave brands. But sadly after seeing this I’m afraid they won’t be getting my business. So now what for those of us that loved the layered look that Metalicus did so well, at a reasonable price. I would love to see your recommendations Nikki.

  4. Wow! I’ve never heard you so disenchanted Nicky! I think it will be really interesting to keep an eye on how successful this new strategy and direction is going to be. I think it might be imploding already as their entire website seems to be down or at least I can’t get on it this morning, to check it out for myself. There will be great brands that step in to fill the gap and I think it would be great if perhaps the women who would have done an automatic “go-to” to Metallicus, might take the time to consider some smaller independent Aussie-designed clothing or accessories. (Maybe you can do a spread on “My suggested alternatives”). It’s a really difficult thing to make a small-scale fashion label actually work in this retail environment, but there are lots of great Mums themselves giving it a go & maybe this can stimulate people giving even one such new label a try. It might mean some of these labels actually translate into a new of viability & that would be great. Alternatively (I’ve just checked out what’s happening on Insta), it could be quite good to all squish ourselves into the current Metallicus range and put ourselves all over social media. Bags I the backless jumpsuit, but I might slip a good sturdy bra underneath.

  5. What is so sad is that Metalicus used to be made in Australia and at one stage made great superfine wool tops. Thanks for your post, Nikki. I wondered why they had such weird stuff on their website now… You are quite correct about their target market – my very trendy 24year old would never be seen in the brand in a million years… Why didn’t they just change the name & retire the brand?

  6. Oh I totally agree , unfortunately for me I have a $170. Credit which I can’t spend as I don’t like anything !! Bring out my old metalicus from years ago I say xx

  7. I made the same decision a couple of months ago!! I have a wardrobe full of Metallicus. I won’t be following or purchasing anymore. It is really interesting the direction they are taking. You know what though ? There are so many other labels we can adore. Nikki, you introduce us to them all the time! X

  8. Totally agree about Metallicus. It’s a shame. But I hope another company sees an opportunity and looks at filling that gap.
    Can’t stand these crass millennial marketers that think their brands are exclusive and “aspirational”. Influencers are a joke. Nikki – at least you are a blogger with substance and you provide value not jumping on board with just anyone. That’s why we love you.

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  9. I don’t buy from Metalicus, nor will I ever! After reading the above, I decided to check out their new website branding/clothing. Honestly, it looks like every single other clothing brand targeted at the very young and the very skinny and the very super-model-like. It doesn’t even look like good quality design or fabric. Nothing new to see that I haven’t seen already at Myer Miss. However I do remember way back when you started your Model and Me episodes and you featured Metalicus. What a shame for them! Have a great Easter Nikki 🙂

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  10. I’ve been wondering what’s happened to Metallicus, the last few emails I’ve had about their new range has not appealed at all. I saw an email with all tight bodycon dresses advertised and was not impressed, such a shame. I will be unsubscribing to them.

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  11. I was guessing and hoping it was Metalicus you were referring to. After I received their last few emails I unsubscribed. I agree their advertising is so degrading. I haven’t bought anything there for years and they were such a great brand but have been heading downhill for a while but now have hit rock bottom. Such a shame

  12. I’m going to play like, 1/3 of devil’s advocate here and say the last few times I’ve been to Metalicus, I felt like they finally got back to what they started with – basic shapes and basic colours. I’m not on their email list and haven’t seen the influencer stuff (which sounds awful) but I don’t ever remember them having anything but standard sized models on their website and in their advertising but I may be remembering incorrectly. In the last few years they’ve really lost their direction with their style, I’d go into a Metalicus store to get a plain slip and I couldn’t find one amongst all the random, weird stuff that was in there. I don’t think I’ve bought anything from Metalicus in about 5 years. Aside from the teenagers modelling the clothes, the clothes themselves are very much like Metalicus when they first started out and I’m pretty happy about that. I may actually be making my first Metalicus purchase in a while. Sorry. 🙂

  13. So agree with your assessment of Metalicus – their clothing now just looks cheap and nasty without the price to reflect it’s tatty look.

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      1. Hi Nicky
        I too agree with you….but if get a chance check out Vigorella – very similar to the old style Metalicus….beautiful cottons, wools and wool blends, I just love their styling…it might fill your Metalicus gap…. 🙂

  14. That kimono is perfection. As is the first and last item I bought from Metalicus – the grey jumper with silver sequined dots that you modelled last year. Such a shame about their 180 degree direction change. Off to Decjuba I go. Now there’s a shop that knows what it’s clientele want.

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  15. So agree about Metalicus. I founfpd them after you did a model and me post a few years ago. I’m a bugger person but could still wear a lot if their one size clothes and have some great pieces from them I love to wear. I went to the QVB shop recently and felt dissatisfied but wasn’t sure why. I did buy a dress but later realised when I got home to canberra that it’s cut too big around the armholes and shows most if my bra. It’s too late to return it but keeping it makes me feel a bit used or something. I know I should have looked closer but anyway… my fault! Then I saw the latest email. I’m no prude but OMG it is offensive. So sad.

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  16. I too rarely comment but Metalicus was my go-to for comfortable work wear. I dread to think what I have spent over the years but considered it an investment in a quality Australian brand. As usual, I had been keeping my eye on upcoming drops….nude skin tight dresses and cropped jumpers??! Seriously, I was wondering what on earth was going on. Metalicus has lost a loyal and long-time consumer base with this dramatic change. It begs to ask…is the target 20 year old market really going to spend $99.95 on a basic dress they can get else where for less than half the price? I think this is the beginning of the end for the “New Metalicus” and no, I will not be “embracing the season” with you – my money will definitely be spent elsewhere. My rant! 🙂

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  17. Agree, I just unsubscribed after the latest email. Is there a 12-year old work experience kid doing the marketing? So cringe-making. What a shame.

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  18. So that’s what is happening with Metalicus. No wonder I haven’t found anything lately and it was the only high st store I ever visited. What a shame. My wardrobe is full of pieces I have had for years. Thanks for the bringing his to my attention.

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  19. I understand the disappointment when a label you love changes direction but ultimately they are a business. Like any business, their number one goal is to make that business successful. Surely if they feel their business can be more profitable by targeting a new market that is their right. Some may also say the change was imperative given they were consistently making losses which is obviously not sustainable (and the reason they were sold off to the parent company of General Pants).

    I think your ‘rant’ in this instance is somewhat shortsighted.

    1. Short sighted how? She doesn’t run the business, she can say what she likes. Nikki has loads of influence and she has garnered collective rage. No skin off Nikki’s nose!

      Interesting to see that the only positive comments on the Metalicus Instagram posts are from horny young men. Perhaps they might buy it for their 19yo girlfriends?

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      Your opinion is welcome but my rant is far from short-sighted. I had to create a huge distance between my brand and Metalicus – as it’s a brand that I’ve openly supported and encouraged people to purchase for as long as my blog has existed, which is almost 10 years. I do not want in any way to be associated with a brand that is marketing itself in a way that is degrading to women.

  20. I agree 100% about Metalicus!
    I emailed them about a month or two ago (before the latest and worst campaign, at which point I unsubscribed!). I basically said women relied on Metalicus for great pieces that travelled well – as an academic I often go to conferences where lots of women are wearing Metalicus. I have never regretted a single purchase from them, the stuff always wore like iron and was great in every way.
    If anything, to increase sales they should have made their clothes a size or two up. I’m a size 12 normally, but I was often in the largest size because I don’t like too clingy clothes. I imagine going up a couple of sizes would have really helped retail sales.
    They did reply, but it was just some generic stuff about “we hope you enjoy the new direction” – and I was irritated, because I actually took the time to say, no, I wasn’t enjoying the new direction. And then a after one revolting email about making my bum look bigger and sexier I unsubscribed.
    Not much of a business model – now they look to be competing in a saturated teen-to-twenty-something market, but against suppliers who are much cheaper.
    What a shame, from a brand who was once my fav.
    The one bright spot is that you continue to showcase gorgeous brands for us. Thank you!

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  21. Also, they should know that they ought not piss off the QUEEN of Australian Farshun/Style Blogging (you). You are the Influencer they need to be courting.

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      HAH, Cilla … I’m no queen … just one of many customers who are left scratching their head and also disgusted in the way the marketing of this “new” Metalicus is so de-grading to women.

  22. I am with you re Metalicus.
    I went to drop some $ there and there was NUFFINK I was even interested in.
    I will take my sizeable bottom and sizeable disposable income elsewhere.
    Meanwhile I am trying to find stretchy gear for some early preggo wear.
    I eyed some stretchy Sacha Drake work shirts.

  23. I know you post is not really on Metalicus but the beautiful Iland co range but on the offchance that someone from Metalicus does read your post due and then sees all the comments supporting your views I just wanted to add my name to the list of those who is disappointed. I used to love that range and the head sales lady in the Sydney QVB shop was the best in the business for offering advice but she too left due to the brand changing. Why oh why did you have to change Metalicus. You were affordable, different, on trend but with style that would never not be in trend. You have changed for the worse and lost a lot of customers because of it.

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  24. Metalicus!! I hadn’t really realised what was going on but thank you for summing it all up. I was feeling really dissatisfied with them and didn’t really appreciate why. Wow! They really used to be something and now…

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  25. Gorgeous kimono. You introduced me to Iland Co through your blog and I have one of their floaty full-length numbers – love it! I wear kimonos at least every second day with skinny jeans and wedges or jandals in the summer and ankle boots in the winter. I’ve been a stay at home mum for years and now that I’m returning to teaching I’m struggling to find a way to transition my beloved kimonos into appropriate classroom outfits. The kimonos themselves definitely look smart enough (e.g. a long black and white floral Decjuba one and a below-the-bottom mid length subtle blue and pink paisley Surafina one) with a black high v-neck top underneath but it’s what to wear on my curvy bottom half to replace the jeans! Any ideas for how to style kimonos as workwear, people?!

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  26. Well it’s been ages since I commented here Nikki, but your Metalicus rant meant I had to add my 2 cents because I couldn’t agree more. The cheapening of the fabrics (inappropriately sheer), skimpy cuts and styling is one thing- but the imagery in the emails and online is just nasty.
    I feel really sorry for the ladies working in store who are suddenly trying to sell such a different product and image. I hope it’s not a matter of another Aussie brand going under but I can’t honestly see myself buying anything from Metalicus again.

    On the other hand I love that long floaty pink kaftan!

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  27. Hi Nikki, totally agree with you. Metalicus was my “winter uniform “ I loved that I could layer up and loved wearing their light snug fitting tops and tunics worn over footless tights.

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  28. Completely support you calling out Metalicus and raising awareness on a label that has kicked to the curb their loyal customer base. The last thing we need is another cheap, nasty clothing brand aimed at the early 20s market. Foolish move!

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  29. Hi Nikki, I could not agree more about Metalicus. I am deeply disappointed – and, quite frankly, appalled – by the latest change in direction. I’ll especially miss their soft tailoring – professional without being too structured and simply throw in the wash. Are there any alternatives? My beloved Kahlo jackets from a few years back are on their last legs!

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  30. Thanks Nikki. I echo your sentiments about Metalicus. Such a disappointment! I have several pieces of theirs from the past that are on high rotation in the wardrobe and it’s sad that they will no longer be my go-to store for basics and a few show pony pieces. I’ll be keen to find some replacement labels that will fill the gap.
    PS tempted to get this kimono!

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  31. Completely agree with you about metalicus, am so so disappointed!! I love that you’re calling them out.
    Also, LOVE the kimono!!

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  32. Very interested to hear your Metalicus ‘news’ and am in complete agreement. Without knowing ‘the story’ I had literally the same conversation with friends recently saying that the brand was completely different and had definitely lost its appeal.

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  33. Oh the horror @metalicusaustralia – after being a loyal VIP customer I am bombarded with sexualised images, cheap nasty clothing and being called babe – so sad and out of touch. I hope I raised my daughter to be smarter than what they think young women are.

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  34. Morning Nikki I agree with you about Metallicus!!!
    Your model and me post is gorgeous as usual I love a kimono Xx

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  35. Hi Nikki, I saw your post on Facebook about Metalicus. Strange business decision. I wonder if they will ditch the great laundry bags too. Lovely kimono, and especially the press stud, such a good idea. Happy Monday x

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