I was so impressed at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) by the unique, bold & beautiful designs and the level of craftsmanship of many of the collections showcased at Sydney’s Carriageworks. Many of the shows by our Australian Fashion designers were definitely en par with the International shows in Paris & Milan, and some of the fashion show productions were as theatrical and flamboyant as those shown in Paris, Milan, NY & London fashion weeks. The days of ‘toning down’ the shows post-global financial crisis (GFC) seem to have gone for many of our designers, and big, bold & flamboyant is back.
It seems ironic that at a time when Australian fashion seems to be struggling more and more with the competition of large International brands, with some designers struggling financially, yet many designers and production teams seemed to have ‘pulled a rabbit out of the hat’ when bringing their collection together and presenting the most eye-catching and jaw-dropping shows.
At day 3 of fashion week, my sister Clarice & I were lucky to watch some amazing shows, starting with Michael Lo Sordo. Michael Lo Sordo took a very different direction to previous collections, and featured romantic, ethereal soft coloured pastels, sleek, draped dresses, and pleats featuring heavily throughout the collection. The models descending down the catwalk effortlessly, like angels walking on clouds.
I found the show so beautiful & moving, and I was even more deeply moved when the designer, Michael, took a bow at the end of the show in tears, it was clearly visible that all the emotion of the hard work & sweat that was put into the collection had come to fruition as the show ran through beautifully. At an interview after the show, Michael shared “I have this opportunity and I have this platform where I can do what I love and show it to the people that I love, and for people to wear it and just be beautiful.”the Fashion Spot Michael is another of our Australian designers who has been struggling financially (along with Josh Goot and many others), therefore I hope this collection gets the recognition it deserves, both in Australia and overseas.
The other highlight of the day was watching our established Australian designer, Toni Maticevski’s beautiful couture collection, which he showed in Paris Fashion week earlier this year. It was a much anticipated show, the line-up of attendees including the most influential people in Australian art, music & fashion. The show was amazing, and presented to the sound of sea waves crashing and birds tweeting – it was quite dreamy as the models descended the runway in the most gorgeous couture gowns.
“Toni Maticevski once again showed us why he is the master of Australian couture.” Beautifully tailored Dior-like a-line dresses, in different fabrics in shades of grey, hues and embellished sequins. He also provided a modern-twist to the the mid-century silhouette with a sportif look as well as some gold-embellished pieces which verged on futuristic.
Above: Finale of Toni Maticevski’s dreamy show (photo taken on my iphone).
I first came to discover Haryono Setiadi after falling in love with his collection of delicate dip-dyed dresses and separates in sheer organzas at last year’s MBFWA, and was very keen to see this year’s show. The Indonesian-born, Sydney-based designer is increasingly becoming one to watch, his label was originally called An Ode to No One, and in 2011 he created Australia’s first 3D printed garments. His SS15 collection featured clean tailored suits, pants & dresses in white and clue hues, colourful prints. The garments were accessorized with beautiful & bold perspex creations by jewellery designer Anna Janakis (whose creations we have been admiring for years, Clarice has featured a few of her designs on @brigadeirochoc).
One Fell swoop, originally a trio, this Perth-based label is now designed by two: Nikolina Ergic and Daniel Romanin. Showing for the fifth time at MBFWA since launching their label in 2005, the featured silk draped dresses, feminine silhouettes and beautiful prints.
Lee Mathews’s show, who’s brand is celebrating its 15th anniversary, featured Japanese inspired theme with colourful screen-prints, monochrome and pops of bold colours in red and orange and kimono tops & dresses constructed from high-quality silks, linen, cotton, wool and cashmere. I love kimono wraps, and noticed a few of our favourite streetstyle bloggers such as Margaret Zhang sporting a similar look at fashion week.
Whilst my sister & I were highly anticipating Jayson Brunsdon’s show (we loved his last collection, titled “Rio” inspired by my birth town of Rio de Janeiro), this year’s SS15 collection was not as exciting. The collection was quite ‘safe’ with tops and dresses featuring a lot of red & black lace. My favourite pieces were the rose print tops below.
The show itself was beautifully designed, we met the show’s designer, ‘Ed the producer’ who had organised thousands of roses to be delivered and lined the runway. At the show’s finale, a shower of rose petals descended on the runway to the sound of “Distant Dreamer” by Duffy, quite reminiscent to a Burberry fashion show.
The final show of the day was the much anticipated collection by Alice McCall. In keeping with McCall’s pretty & cute signature style, this year’s collection featured colourful crochet dresses, cute jumpsuits & pastel colours, cute ribbons sewn on silk jumpsuits & dresses (very Viktor & Rolf ;), some models walked down the catwalk with cute bunny ears.
Below: Australian singer Jessica Mauboy wearing an Alice McCall white dress from the SS15/16 collection before the Alice McCall show.
Well that was a busy day of back-to-back amazing shows by our favourite designers, stay tuned as I share more posts of the beautiful collections showcased on the following days at fashion week.
(for more insights into MBFWA- visit Elisa's blog https://jadorais.wordpress.com)