Models dancing in the finale at Macgraw’s show on MBFWA Day Three. Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images.
After a spectacular first couple of days of shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Day Three was the biggest day yet with 12 shows from start to finish making for an exciting and surprising day of fashion. Among our many highlights were presentations from Macgraw, Katama by Gareth Neff, Roopa Pemmaraju, Gary Bigeni, Bec & Bridge, Zambesi and Michael Lo Sordo.
Katama By Garrett Neff
We could not have asked for the better start to Day Three, Sydney turned up the heat for the Katama Resort 2018 menswear launch. The sun was shining as the guys took to the runway at the gorgeous Andrew Boy Charlton Swimming Pool. The clothing was inspired by carefree Americana style and the bonds of making new friends when on adventures. Models were decked out in bombers, blazers and tees with nonchalant style. To go with the pool vibe, there was plenty of tropical inspired shorts and swimwear. It was about practicality but with a fresh twist.
Macgraw brought their refreshing brand of quirky cool girlishness to the runway in a winsome presentation full of high collars, ruffles and puffed sleeves. The collection was called Love Letter and featured a sweet heart motif running throughout it, most beautifully on a gorgeous long coat and blue and red silk print. We couldn’t get enough of the charming velvet bows and lace cuffs throughout, not to mention the oodles of ruffles in gingham and polkadots. This collection was so much fun and such a delight to watch come down the runway. Macgraw collaborated with the Country Women’s Association on a knitted bloomer and cardigan set which upped the charm factor of this sublime collection. Sisters Beth and Tessa Macgraw truly go from strength to strength each season.
NextGen’s Isabelle Quinn (left), Stephanie Henly (centre), Stanzee (right).
Next Gen is always an important platform to launch the careers of emerging designers. Standouts included Gold Coast local Isabelle Quinn with her romantic and the unconventional and the carefree modern girl. She has been making garments since in her teens and showcased essential basics to key silhouettes on the runway. Gorgeous star print dresses with silver knee high boots made the bold statement for this collection. Stanzee took a love for leather to the next level. She has developed a belief that leather as a bi-product can be given a second life and each piece has its own story to tell, making them unique in their own way. On the runway she mixed feminine pieces that could be worn several ways with flared lace pants the strong vision that stand out.
We could practically feel the heat coming off the runway as Roopa Pemmaraju transported us to fragrant India with a divine collection that was gloriously colourful. An alluring combination of plaid, floral prints and ruffles in orange, red, pink and turquoise were perfectly complemented by delicately pretty beading and floral appliqué to create a feminine look that was truly joyful. Floaty sheer fabrics flowed beautifully down the runway on relaxed dresses, skirts and tops with a glittering gold finale gown topping off this truly heavenly collection.
Gary Bigeni delivered a stellar collection of his signature contemporary designs with bold statement dresses and so many spots making their way down the runway. He displayed his masterful draping skills that create a sophisticated silhouette which feels modern and fresh. The dashing designs were delivered in floating fabrics including silk, wool and Italian cottons. The summery colour palette of blue, yellow, white, nude, black and navy added depth to the fluidity of Bigeni’s pieces.
Hansen & Gretel
Hansen & Gretel definitely got the memo about showing a Resort collection at MBFWA as their “Stay Wild Child” range comprised of lots of relaxed pieces that were perfect for holidaying in. Gingham was everywhere from mini-dresses to swimsuits to bombers, with the collection also featuring plenty of prints of the leopard and tropical variety. Casual slip dresses, tees and jumpers added to the easy to wear feel while shirring, satin and the now ubiquitous ruffles enhanced the playful femininity of the collection.
Active Collective Showcase L’urv (left), Seafolly (centre), Tone Fitness Apparl (right)
The Active Collective Showcase was a new group show introduced by Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia this year due to the huge rise in popularity of activewear across the globe. Six established and emerging activewear labels took to the runway with beloved Australian brand Seafolly kicking things off with their bold swim-ready pieces. Huntrlnd, Tone Fitness Apparel, Tully Lou, L’urv and Nimble Activewear followed showing variations of leggings, crop tops, shorts, hoodies and bombers with high-leg cuts, gold, metallics, high-tech materials and digital prints the key trends present across the collections.
Pageant made their MBFWA debut with an edgy collection featuring mesh, coloured denim and swimwear on the runway. Geometric sculptures by Melbourne artist Caleb Shea accented the space providing a colourful foil to the contemporary pieces in the collection. Designers Amanda Cumming and Kate Reynolds gave their sportswear influenced range plenty of attitude while adding a feminine touch of ruffle hems on relaxed but flattering dresses. After beginning with bold swimwear in yellow, pink, blue and brown the collection merged into more streetwear looks that were confident and fierce.
Bec & Bridge
MBFWA favourites, Bec & Bridge, took the fashion set on a trip to Sydney’s CBD with the womenswear brand showing on the 7th floor of David Jones’ historic Elizabeth Street store. Their new collection called “Meow Meow” was full of playful slip dresses, mini-skirts and off the shoulder tops with plenty of sex kitten appeal. Exaggerated sleeves on shirts and ruffled cigarette pants were among the more fashion forward looks with fun polka dots and a smattering of red lipstick adding a vintage French appeal. Designers Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston are in their 15th year of their namesake brand now and it’s no surprise that their popularity just keeps growing with strong collections like this one.
Last appearing on the MBFWA runway in 2013, Zambesi made a blazing return with a unique showing that demonstrated the versatility of designers Elizabeth Findlay and Dayne Johnston. One of the few brands to show both men’s and women’s wear on the runway Zambesi’s collection titled “Kaleidoscope” was all about sheen with everything from the clothing to makeup having a glow. The directional tailoring the brand is known for featured on elegant suiting and chic dresses. There was a sense of playfulness from the rainbow sequined pieces and no doubt the sheer trenchcoats, bombers, skirts and dresses in iridescent organza will be high on Zambesi fans wishlists for next season.
Michael Lo Sordo
Michael Lo Sordo’s stunning dresses and trenches swept down the runway in their full skirted glory as part of his alluring Acceidential Secrétaire collection. Generous cut-outs at the hips and lace bodysuits and bralets gave his range a sensuality that suited the deconstructed elements of the outer pieces. Bright cherry red, blue, blush, lemon and black formed the basis of his colour palette which emphasised the beguiling nature of the collection. Belted at the waist to accentuate the curves the silhouettes were womanly and confident, these are not garments for the faint-hearted but they would definitely be fun to glide about in.
The last show of the day was by Christopher Esber who delivered a confident collection featuring his signature fluid silhouettes and clever tailoring which created contemporary looks. Esber’s range comprised of relaxed suiting, shirting and body skimming dresses in hues of lemon, grey, white, taupe and blue with pops of bright red. Structured utilitarian looks were mixed in with soft dresses and skirts to create a range of modern outfits with a sophisticated modernity.
Images courtesy of Stefan Gosatti/Brendon Thorne/Getty Images.