Bella Hadid (centre) leading the Misha Collection finale. Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images.
The first full day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia shows kicked off at Carriageworks in Sydney, with popular designer duo Ginger and Smart first up on the runway.
Ginger & Smart
Drawing inspiration from the earth’s reflection from space, their Resort 2017 collection was aptly named ‘Voyager’ and began with a long-sleeved white lace swimsuit complemented by an over-sized white sunhat which trailed down the model’s back. It was a perfect outfit to convey the nonchalant and breezy feel of a resort range. The looks that followed were elegant and contemporary with acid bright stripes, florals and a celestial print complemented by neutrals, azure, blush and navy. One-shouldered dresses, flowing skirts and easy wearing separates were semi-sheer and full of texture with racer back swimsuits peeking out from underneath to add to the holiday feel.
The only New Zealand label to appear at MBFWA this week was Georgia Alice, who has been making quite an impression on the Australians in the past couple of years. For her debut show she made clever use of the tunnel-like loading dock space with strobing lights and her procession of models appearing out of the darkness to brush past the audience. The collection had all of designer Georgia Currie’s signature modernist looks with trailing sleeves and ribbons on over-sized white shirts, sheer layering, fitted crop tops and glimmering metallic slip dresses. Her inspiration came from Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret’s 17-year project The Crystal Frontier, which is about a group of women who decide to escape society and start a feminist commune in the New Mexico desert. She also collaborated with Meadowlark Jewellery to produce a series of beautiful gemstone hoop earrings. No doubt this stunning range with cement her place in Australia and internationally.
Celebrating ten years in the fashion industry, Yeojin Bae, presented a collection of body-con dresses in bold scarlet, emerald, blush, lime, black, navy and white with creative use of colour blocking and cut-out details. Seductive yet of the moment, the range incorporated abstract and spider web prints alongside delicate lace with exposed zips and criss cross details adding further modern touches. The look was confident, sexy and very much in control.
Albus Lumen’s MBFWA debut was all about the European summer with an installation/runway event that showcased a sense of simplicity and craftsmanship with a beautiful minimalist style. The range comprised of earthy tones and luxe fabrics with beautiful deep red the stand out hue amongst navy, black and neutrals. Shirt dresses, jumpsuits and easy to wear separates made for a range that’s relaxed and effortless.
Misha Collection brought over international model Bella Hadid (sister of Gigi Hadid) which was the talk of the day, as she represented the Melbourne-based label in their debut runway show at MBFWA. The brand stayed true to its sexy, feminine style but added a slight 60s vibe. It was all about cocktail dresses with swinging fringe detail and long flowing dresses that would look perfect on the red carpet. The collection featured luxurious fabrics with the key trend of asymmetrical one-sleeved looks. Hadid opened and closed the show to a sea of cameras and cellphones who captured every second of the gorgeous model’s turn on the runway in lingerie-inspired looks.
After debuting in Paris in 2011, Rebecca Vallance has been an international success story and brought her brand of luxurious, feminine looks to the MBFWA runway for the sixth show of the day. Utilising a simple but strong colour palette of yellow, black and white, Vallance showed a series of structured looks featuring fluted hem dresses and sensual cocktail wear that draped just so to flatter the female form.
Returning to their roots, designers Edwina Robinson and Adrian Norris of Aje contemplated the beginning of their label with their latest collection ‘Apocalyptic Paradise’. On a spotlit runway the opening model emerged from a smokey haze in a Victorian-inspired white blouse with a high, ruffled collar paired with flared dark jeans. The looks that followed included Aje’s signature embellished dresses, logo tees, leather mini skirts and motorcycle jackets with a darkness around the edges seen in holey tshirts and boots made for stomping in. Broderie anglaise dresses, delicate beading and feathers adding a prettiness while an embroidered palm print and rhinestone hip details kept things modern and fun.
As you can imagine the Swarovski show was all about the sparkle! Swarovski’s Crystal Galaxy collection also turned out to be a hush hush event that was obviously to be part of Australia’s Next Top Model season 10. This international brand featured runway models in a dizzying array of bejewelled accessories and headwear. The most talked about trend was how their hair was sprayed with Swarovski crystals – now that is one way to stand out. ANTM judges Alex Perry and Megan Gale were critiquing the models with host Jennifer Hawkins also on the set. Guests were told strictly no photos of the trio as the cameras rolled to capture all the action.
Zhivago delivered another fierce collection that celebrates feminine strength. The music pumped as models took to the runway in short and strong tight statement dresses. The collection titled ‘Death Becomes Her’ draws inspiration from the 1992 cult classic film of the same name. Zhivago have become the leader in the structured shoulder style and there were plenty to be seen, except this time toned down with softer detailing to give the brand a fresh modern direction. Their dresses are all about sparkle in the key hues of silver, black and blue.
Dion Lee took his runway show to new heights as guests previewed the resort collection off-site on the 28th floor of the Bloomberg Building in Sydney. He invented a new futuristic look for sequins by embellishing dresses with shiny glass beading. Dion Lee is heralded as one of the most influential Australian designers for his progressive and unique design aesthetic. The style on the night was all about experimenting with tailoring yet maintaining a chic silhouette.
By Evelyn Ebrey & Craig Lawson.
Photos by Stefan Gosatti, Brendon Thorne/Getty Images.