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Jessica Hart in a dress from Auguste’s new Magnolia collection Credit: Trevor King

On the surface, these floral dresses and festival-perfect pieces modelled by former Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart look pretty dreamy but dig deeper into the story and they’re literally lifesavers.

Each piece in Auguste’s floral-based Magnolia collection dropping today will raise funds for the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) foundation as part of the Byron Bay-based brand’s involvement with impressive global business initiative 1% for the Planet, which it joined at the same time its Strawberry Moon collection starring Nicole Trunfio launched in 2016.

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New York-based Hart flew to Malibu for the shootCredit: Trevor King

On top of that, “Auguste will adopt a baby orangutan on behalf of one online customer every day,” Hart told GRAZIA of the brand’s 90 Days of Change initiative that also launched today. “I really hope [this] campaign will start a conversation about the destruction of orangutan habitat and what charities like BOS are doing to combat it.”

Unsurprisingly, it was the idea of saving these embattled, emotion-stirring animals that got the now New York-based supermodel, whose schedule was already full, over the line. After speaking to her agent, she made the time. “I love the direction Auguste has been going,” Hart says. “I love seeing fashion brands use their voice… to create real change.”

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Hart’s favourite piece from the collection: the Bella Frill Play DressCredit: Trevor King
Auguste, Bella Frill Play Dress in Musk Pink, $139. SHOP NOW

The woman behind this brand in particular, Auguste founder Ebony Eagles, a former model herself who lived for almost a decade in Indonesia, admits the rescue and sanctuary of orangutans in that country has long been an issue close to her heart.

“Because this campaign coincided with the launch of our 90 Days of Change campaign, I really wanted a household name to help us launch it,” she said of approaching Hart for her input. “I’ve watched Jess throughout her career and have always wanted to work with her. The time just felt right.”

Indeed, the campaign itself – shot by expat photographer Trevor King – was somewhat of an Aussie collaboration with a mission, despite being captured at the iconic Gesner Beach House in Malibu rather than Auguste’s heartland of Byron Bay. (Note: the location’s namesake Harry Gesner was ahead of his time as an environmentally-conscious architect in the 1960s.)

 

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The shoot crew, including Eagles and Hart (both holding up ‘peace’ fingers) and King in centre frontCredit: Supplied

“There’s definitely a likeness between Malibu and Byron,” says Hart of the shoot’s backdrop. “They’re both laid back coastal areas with their roots in surf culture. I’ve also definitely experienced locals in each place having similar values and awareness of the environment.”

Vitally too, both spots boast an unofficial uniform of fashion bohemian (aka foho) looks, where the beautiful people gather to holiday or (if lucky enough, a la Clan Hemsworth) live in laid-back beach luxury. Hart for one is already a fan of the brand’s edgy-feminine aesthetic, described by Eagles as a nod to the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with a contemporary twist.

“I really feel like we’ve perfected the play dress this season – just in time for the USA summer and Australian festival season,” Eagles says of the dress style that was also Hart’s favourite in the range.

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Another of Hart’s favourite looks: the Bella Maxi in blackCredit: Trevor King

Auguste, Bella Max Dress in Black, $189. SHOP NOW

“I loved the Bella Maxi and the Bella Frill Play Dress – both felt so effortless and easy-to-wear,” Hart reiterates. “I felt really beautiful wearing the whole range. I love the vintage elements of it. Each piece feels really timeless.”

Shop the new Auguste Magnolia collection here. We’ll race you to the checkout.

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Auguste x BOS Australia, Magnolia canvas charity tote* (37cm x 39cm), $15. SHOP NOW

* 100% of sale price from each Magnolia charity tote will be donated to BOS Australia to help it protect orangutans from the threat of extinction. Available exclusively in Auguste’s Byron Bay boutique or online store.

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Hart in the Auguste Magnolia campaign wearing pieces from the new collectionCredit: Trevor King

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Hart in the Auguste Magnolia campaign wearing pieces from the new collectionCredit: Trevor King

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Hart in the Auguste Magnolia campaign wearing pieces from the new collectionCredit: Trevor King

thoughts?