Mercedes-Benz Fashion week is one of the major event the city of Sydney looks forward to. Apart from the usual fervor of streetstyle which is definitely a separate post on it’s own – keep watching this space for it, the week showcased collections by designers many of who opting for a much more commercial route and played it safe- which makes sense for the business – but come on it’s a runway presentation so there were quite a few who definitely stepped up balancing that line of creative and commercial.
One of the few Australian designers who’s work I have been following since before I came here – due to his fun fabrics and ingenious patterns, this considerably was a much more ‘tame’ show but not without his signature showcasing his play within pattern and shapes that he is known for. Taking a much more relaxed approach – because resort – Lee’s collection showcased jackets, dresses and separates in solid brightly lit tones that is sure to find takers jetting off at the end of the year. The silhouettes ranged from oversized knitwear to structured double breasted jackets (that asymmetric shifted lapel one was my favorite), sprinkled with structured asymmetric hemlines, on trend one shoulder barring dresses and his signature extra long sleeves. Dion Lee’s show was him in more ways than one if you knew how to look for things that made him – well …him.
P.S. I hated the footwear
Keeping things in a cool muted palette, Alice McCall kept things pretty for her presentation. What I liked was that is was a lot of fun despite being very much in a commercial- the graduation of things was seamless – though the brocades and ornate looks were a bit of a confusing element of what could have been a much more cohesive collection in terms of editing. The ostrich jackets, the ruffle dresses were fun and flirty and the use and play of sheer with polka dots and feathers was good. This, people is the perfectly right tone of BLUE when going luxe resort with feathers – it is calm and collected – and the designer nailed it. This collection was definitely for the intelligent party girl who knows how to play her cards well
A mature good collection, Biaca Spender’s collection featured a lot of relaxed tailoring with a mindfulness of modern living that came across throughout the collection. Languid fabrics and dresses, draped jumpsuit, ticking off the trend with trenches, Spender’s collection was minimal punctuated with prints, metallic and deep tones. Easy and fuss free, this was easy and relaxed styled collection that was chic and contemporary yet played with classic elements that have echoed within fashion.
Largely Monochromatic with a moody tone to the collection, Justin Cassin’s collection focused on well made essentials and enhanced the details by keeping silhouette seemingly simple. Relaxed and oversized, Cassin’s collection was well on trend with wide legged and cropped pants, stripes, zipper details and distress. Jackets, knits and tops made for the other part of the layering which was in-fact very much Australian in it’s aesthetic, while ticking off the international menswear trends – something that Cassin aimed and succeeded in. Justin Cassin’s guy was definitely one who is fashion conscious but very Australian in aesthetic. Marking his debut with a collection of luxe menswear with a street style aesthetic – it would be interesting to see where does Cassin takes his label from here – fingers crossed for him to include a lot more color
Playing with sheer and androgynous and oversized silhouette, Karla Spetic’s collection was a relaxed oversized outing that had its share of hits and misses. While some sheer button down tops were food and oversized sheer shrugs and outerwear was nice – one after the other use of organza did seem a bit of an overdone exercise. While she kept the color palette soft and some of the pieces did make you go ‘uh okaay’ like the big flower or half and half sheer and opaque one stuck out – but for the most part the collection was not too bad with some good layering pieces
Fun, fab and fearlessly exciting, Double Rainbouu was one of the collections of Day 2 that showcased how to have fun with fashion. Splashes of color, glitter, print and text in a range of relaxed silhouette inundated the collection that pretty much imbued the resort-ness in clothing. The presentation along with props might seem a bit gimmicky but it complimented the collection. With hawaiian shirts with good prints (yes that is what they do and they are good prints) as their mainstay, the prints were fun but did venture into a bit of Kenzo territory. The good thing also was that they just did not show that and ventured into layering pieces, styling options and punctuated the collection with breathers of texts, glittered prints and single motifs. I also managed to see their collection up close next day in design pop up section and they were well printed. This is one hawaiian shirt I wouldn’t be ashamed of owning.
Usually termed as Elie Saab of Australia because of similar backgrounds, techniques and embellishments, Khalil might come across as that but is a totally different designer when it comes to his design sensibility. His ability to combine organics with geometric was quite evident within his latest presentation under exquisitely crafted interiors by Noel Nasser, highlighting the collection perfectly. Be it draped with geometric embroidery or florals with geometric lines and patterns – he also ventured into a very Dior’s new look territory with tea length dresses to metallic draped ones that showcased his other end of the range – he even showcased a bridal in the end echoing designers like Saab and Naeem Khan who did so to announce their ventures into the bridal lines. The embellished work was exquisite and contemporary – my favorite one being the gold and black embellished dress. A couple of pieces like ruffle gown and a plus motif embroidery one did stick out but then i am nit picking here
Glam, uber sexy and chic would probably the words one would use to describe the clothes at Zhivago. Using velvet, lace and metallics, the collection showcased a multitude of wrap silhouetted, peplum and business dresses along with separates that could be paired with your basics – I for one LOVED those metallic lace cigarette pants. The body con dresses were sculpted well and the interplay of velvet and lace was interesting and unexpected at many points. The Joan Crawford shoulder pads (I am blaming the FEUD) and Grace Jones from 70s evoked that high glam vibe and coupled with the jumpsuits, blazers, tops and dresses put it forth in the modern context – The chained sunnies gave a cheeky touch to the garments to complete that part 70s vibe of the garments. Fun !!
SASS & BIDE
That was a lot of garments, – was the first thought after I saw this collection by the fashion label. Crochet, interweaving, feathers, embellishment, stripes, lace, distressed fringes – there was whole host of a lot of things happening and was a bit all over the place. Pieces like distressed denim with sequins and a top felt forced. While the collection worked in capsules and groups, together it was a lot to take in as a cohesive collection. That aside, many looks stood strong on their own – my personal favorites had to be the black and white interweaving and let loose, and the cut out used to maximum effect in gowns and jackets. Another one was the distressed fringe jacket that i would totally rock – just saying- With their aesthetic right in place this collection is bound to do well in stores – as it should – but on runway it was could have been edited alot.
*Images belong to their respective owners