It’s been seven big days in Australian fashion. There has been controversy over a design award, the return of a catwalk favorite after a 15-year absence, and industry darling Zimmermann appearing on the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week. Here are the key trends and moments of the week, as viewed from the front row at the Melbourne Fashion Festival by the fashion editor Melissa singer.
In fashion, three is a trend, and that’s what the parade-goers got at the Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Power show on Wednesday night. The normally minimalist sustainable label, Arnsdorfcreated some excitement in the form of fringed jackets and trousers, while the Paris-based expat Martin Grant (presented by luxury boutique Christine Melbourne) offered a Tombstone feel plum cloaks and millinery by Maison Michel and Philip Treacy. On Tuesday, the Melbourne brand Torance took a loftier route, pairing monochromatic prairie dresses and knit ponchos with cowboy hats and chunky belts. But it was pack of subversives ruler And Anna Cordell who brought down the house Friday night with their rock ‘n’ roll inspired looks, with more than a little country.
Indigenous fashion ‘steps in’
A trend we see during fashion weeks, although still a hot topic, is the integration of indigenous brands on the program, rather than in a special show. On Monday, Maara Collective led the First Nations designers on the festival track, followed by Yanggurdi, Nungala Collective, House of Dizzy, Ginny’s girl gang, Amber days And Gammin threads, all of whom were on Thursday’s Urban Oasis show. In a fitting finale Paul McCannknown for the ‘gumnut dress’, ended the week with a specially commissioned dress from festival sponsor PayPal.
Just hours after Chanel showed a collection featuring the signature flower, the camellia, in Paris, two top local designers Jason Grech and hatter richard nylon delivered the Melbourne Fashion Festival collaboration, featuring Grech’s wet-look evening gowns in highlighter pink and yellow embellished with Nylon’s oversized floral creations. It left many in the front row wondering how these two had never come together before, which is essentially the hallmark of a winning partnership. More please.
The folk festival
This year the festival returned to its rightful home, the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton, and with that, street style kicked into high gear. Aside from those who were paid or sponsored for merely showing up, many ticket holders kept court in the forecourt with an array of looks. What was new this year: the huge number of people who were proudly spitting out their latest thrift finds, and also many people who turned gender stereotypes on their head.
Accordion on this
Pleats never really go out of style (although the number of artisans in the country is shockingly low, but that’s another story), but they were given a new face on the catwalk by Adelaide outfit Acler and that of Melbourne asiyam, making progress in the modesty dressing room. Founder Asia Hassan, Muslim and social worker, crafts her pieces in bold strawberry and lime sorbet shades, as if to say, no, you don’t have to hide in the shadows just because you want to cover up.
Fashion weeks around the world are trying to address their inherent conundrum of boosting consumption by incorporating sustainable initiatives and a “buy well, buy less” approach to investment wear. And while some questioned the festival’s partnership with discount retailer Kmart, it was nice to see the week kick off with an all-vintage runway as the upcycled label Moss Tunstall became the first brand in the festival’s 27-year history to star on a premium runway.
Faces of the future
He may have missed it National Designer Award But Jordan Gogos, whose art cum couture was seen on the last runway on Saturday evening, is without a doubt one of the faces in the Australian fashion industry to keep an eye on. As he prepares to launch his ready-to-wear label, fashion experts are bracing for his pieces, which are tipped to become instant collectibles. Other bright sparks on the student track included Kritikon Khamsawatwho won the Australian Fashion Foundation award in December.
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