The highlights from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia…
AUSTRALIA GETS RECOGNITION
We know the big four – New York, London, Milan and Paris – dominate as fashion week cities however globalisation has seen places such as Sao Paulo, Moscow, Berlin and Shanghai successfully showcase their designers and garner attention from the fashion industry. The 20th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia proved how far it has come with collections from talented designers such as Christopher Esber, Akira, Carla Zampatti, Michael Le Sordo and Toni Maticevski. No doubt, industry figures were delighted to feast their eyes on New York-based label Tome’s pre-fall collection by Australian designers Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo, who were finalists in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2013. Cementing it’s right as a fashion week to watch MBFWA had visits from taste makers such as Aussie-born Laura Brown of Harper’s Bazaar US and My Theresa’s Justin O’Shea. We also saw Russian street-style star Mirsolava Duma fittingly launch the Australian arm of her successful digital magazine Buro 24/7 and attend a few shows.
GEMMA WARD RETURNS HOME
It was the moment the fashion industry had been waiting to happen. Gemma Ward opened the Prada Spring/Summer 2014 ready-to-wear show in Milan last year marking her official comeback to the modelling world. However, she didn’t forget where it all started as she returned to Australia Fashion Week and decided to not only open for Ellery but also take on the role of guest-editor for Vogue Australia.
ELLERY OPENS MBFWA FT. GEMMA WARD, BALLERINAS AND AN ANGRY NEIGHBOUR
Kim Ellery certainly knew how to kick off MBFWA with a bang. Not only did Australian supermodel Gemma Ward open the show at Carriageworks but guests watched ballerinas from the Australian Ballet dance to a David Bowie soundtrack in black tutus. Oh, and the clothes? She didn’t disappoint bringing us her signature flares (almost every front-row attendee was rocking it in some shape or form), oversized shapes and bell bottoms. For this collection Ellery was inspired by artist Egon Schiele and his female subjects, asking herself what they might wear today. Stand-out looks included a strapless column dress sparkling in golden fringe over black pants, tailored floor-length sleeveless coats and off-the-shoulder looks with flared sleeves, all while wearing chunky platform loafers. In what can be seen as an ‘awh’ moment, Ellery’s mother made the stoneware ceramic buttons featured on some of the looks. The designer has a lot to celebrate as she is one of three Australian designers to be recognised and asked to show by the Federation Francaise de la Couture du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers and Createurs de Mode (the body that controls Paris Fashion Week) and counts stockists such as Net-A-Porter and Dover Street Market. Proudly showing off her achievements Ellery sprinted down the runway to the tune of Firework by Katy Perry for the finale with silver sparkles falling from the ceiling. Even an angry neighbour who stormed the runway complaining of the music didn’t dampen her spirits.
THE STREET STYLE
Let’s face it. Australians just know to do street style. We saw models, fashion editors and style influencers against the backdrop of the industrial Carriageworks and Bondi Beach, show off their tanned abs in crop tops and ripped denim, let us know of their impeccable layering skills and try out their 70s inner spirit in flared jeans, fringed jackets and suede looks. Check out more from Tommy Ton for Style.com and Phil Oh for Vogue.
TEN PIECES SHOWS AT BONDI ICEBERGS
One way to stand out among the sea (no pun intended) of the fashion shows held at Carriageworks? Empty out the iconic and most-Instagrammed Bondi Icebergs and have models walk along the edge of the pool, which Ten Pieces did for MBFWA this year. If you were wondering how a fashion designer has managed to allow that to happen it would help to know that Ten Pieces is headed by Icebergs restaurateur Maurice Terzini and his partner Lucy Hinckfuss. While no doubt it was hard for them to take their eyes off the ocean guests saw a unisex capsule collection of ten looks (hence the name of the label) that were entirely monochrome and infused a sporty and Japanese-inspired punk attitude.
ROMANCE WAS BORN CELEBRATES AUSTRALIA
Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett of Romance was Born have always showed fantastical and eccentric collections since their debut in 2008 and this year didn’t disappoint. The collection titled ‘Cooee Couture’, held at the Art Gallery NSW, was all about 80s Australiana which led to rainbow coloured outfits and even a Ned Kelly-inspired look. Australia’s native flora and fauna, including cockatoos, gum leaves and waratahs, inspired not just the looks but also the makeup and set, which was a floral outback installed by Alice Babdige and Robin Hearfield.