Speaking with ELLE AUS

We spoke to Ava Gilchrist for Elle Magazine about 90s Surf Culture & Nostalgic vacation styling. Read the full feature online here | Written by Ava Gilchrist

For every Australian growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s Perri from Blue Water High was the original 'it' girl.

With her undeniable fashion sense and plethora of frangipani and hibiscus bikinis, we found ourselves following suit and buying up a storm in Billabong and Roxy for the latest surfcore styles.

But it wasn't just Blue Water High that influenced the cultural zeitgeist.

Every boho beach babe from the mermaids of H20: Just Add Water and Aquamarine to the sun kissed chic Olsen sisters in Holiday In The Sun had us reaching for our favourite Hawaiian shirts, puka necklaces and platform thongs.

While for a certain period we may have looked back on those choices and shuddered at its cringe-worthiness, it seems that the y2k resurgence is also bringing back 90s surf culture in a big way.

From the surf to the shore and from social media "coconut girls" are reigning supreme, with the aesthetic boasting over 225 million views on TikTok alone.

Regardless of whether you rocked the look back in the day, you're probably wearing the style subconsciously already. From anklets to face framing baby braids, these trends are all signifiers that you're a certified coconut girl.

If there's one brand that embodies the return of 90s surf culture, it's Emma Mulholland On Holiday.

Offering a lifetime's worth of vacation nostalgia, EM On Holiday is evocative of 80s and 90s Australiana from its cheeky slogan shirts and sweats to its iconic check prints to 'Happy Hawaii' logo.

Speaking to ELLE Australia, founder and designer Emma Mulholland reveals what it is about nostalgic Australiana that inspires her and why she thinks it resonates with so many people, including major A-listers like Gigi and Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber and Kourtney Kardashian.

"I have such fond memories of my upbringing in Australia, so I think anything, including clothing, that reminds you of this time and makes you smile is special", Emma tells us, "I think the 80s and 90s was an especially creative and exciting time for music and fashion in Australia."

"It's kind of hilarious seeing all the late 90s and early 00s trends come back—I now understand my parents' feelings towards clothes from the 60s and 70s", Emma added.

Since Em On Holiday has become so synonymous with the coconut girl aesthetic—it's understandable as to why given it's the definition of dopamine dressing and literal sunshine—we wanted to know exactly why she thinks people are drawn to her designs in particular.

"I love that my brand can be worn in a variety of ways, from fitting in on TikTok to a job interview–it's all about how you style it!"

As for Mulholland's ultimate essentials for styling the surfcore aesthetic? "A great pair of sandals, fresh manicure and a cute handbag".

Despite La Niña's attempts to literally rain on our parade this season, you can find us (along with many others) spending this summer turning into the coconut girl of our dreams.

Alexa, play In the Summertime by Thirsty Merc.