Steven Khalil – Stefan Gosatti, Getty Images.
Top 10 Designs From Australian Fashion Week – Forbes
Dreamy and ruffled, harsh and structured, comfortable and playful – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia offered many a variation on the tried and true resort wear theme.
However, several pieces stood out from the pack due to the designer’s ability to create the perfect symbiosis between material, form, and thought.
Here are the top 10 designs, in no particular order, from the runways of Australian Fashion Week.
Ethereal and dreamlike, designer Alice McCall presented an angelic collection of sheer and frilly dresses, sometimes lady-like and sometimes vampy silhouettes, and layer-upon-layer of tones and textures. This dress, in particular, embodied the Rococo-inspired collection in its entirety.
Stephanie Henly at NextGen
As part of the St. George NextGen collective presentation of aspiring future design heavyweights, Stephanie Henly paid homage to the art of embroidery in a collection that took long-stitch from the coffee table to new levels of high fashion. This metallic piece drew breaths from the crowd for its intricate detailing.
Floating down the flower-spiked stairs of the Precinct at Carriageworks in Sydney were the breathtaking gowns from Australian couturier, Steven Khalil. From sequin-studded and fitted, to A-line and layered, Khalil presented a collection that is sure to be on the backs of many an A-lister.
This show-stopping wedding gown was an ode to endless hours of beading and layering, a heavenly vision that is said to sing to the tune of (AUD) $100 000.
“The Inspiration behind the gown was to create a piece that is textural, modern but still feminine and fresh,” Khalil says.
Australia’s King of structure, Dion Lee, presented a unisex, nautically-inspired resort wear collection that featured twisted silhouettes, asymmetrical lines, tough and bold trench outerwear, soft and colorful slip dresses.
However, it was this dress that drew upon the roots of tried-and-true Dion Lee – a celebration of manipulated silhouettes and design ingenuity.
“We developed this with a mill using three layers of jersey,” Lee says on the fabric. “The design has been perforated to allow the silhouette to open creating a sculptural form and movement.”
Titled Transit, the collection from stylish design duo, Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci, was inspired by the Paris Metro, and the work of the late Chinese artist Ren Hang. This piece embodies the designer’s exploration with tech fabrics, in a sleek and signature style that has become synonymous with the brand.
“[It] explores the rawness, the grit, and beauty of the real world and the underground of the Paris Metro, in contrast to the cities canopy, to Hang’s raw and provocative imagery of nudes, which are both confronting and beautiful, yet speak of purity,” they said.
Sass & Bide
Seasoned Australian designers Sass & Bide presented strong during their comeback to the runways of fashion week after a 14-year hiatus. The much-loved brand presented an enticing collection, spiked with texture and weaving, that was inspired by the hot and heavy streets of Barcelona during fiesta.
“We created the sleekness of the looks and then the intricate mohawk braids, side ties, and fighting fish tails to compliment the bold, shimmering life featured within the collection,” they said.
This jacket embodies the complete essence of what audiences know and love about Sass & Bide.
Justin Cassin’s Resort 2018 collection, worn by the likes of rising model Jordan Barrett, presented a street-smart, militarized, urban guerrilla. It portrayed a confident, comfortable, masculine ideal with playful pinstripes, rips and zips, and loose tailoring. This jacket, shined with resin dye, offered a rigid look with a soft feel.
Ginger & Smart
Designers Ginger & Smart, helmed by sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart, were drawn to the color and geometry utilized by many pioneering women sculptors to present a poppy, colorful and texture-laden collection. One particular garment stood out from the pack, the Georgia Gown in Lotus Pink.
“The Gown was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and her translucent, often controversial, paintings of petals,” they said. “We wanted to create a fabric that represented this in a soft sculptural form. She symbolizes strength and fragility.”
Funky and fun was the hedonist-inspired, resort wear collection presented by quirky and cool, Double Rainbouu. Dubbed “Day Break Moon Club,” the collection by design duo Michael Nolan and Toby Jones explored Ibiza and Goa in the seventies, and featured statement knits by the Woolmark Company.
A.N.X at The Innovators
The Innovators is a runway that showcases the best work from recent Fashion Design Studio graduates and is often touted as the official breeding ground for the next big name in Australian fashion. This year’s presentation featured an eclectic mix, with a solid stand out performance from A.N.X designer, Ann Xiao.
Her portrayal of a young girl trying to assimilate into the “Australian way of life,” while appreciating her Chinese heritage and maintaining a sense of self, was hauntingly beautiful.
“The frayed hems and ripped pleats in my garments reflect the troubled mindset of trying to reconcile these competing demands,” she says. This jacket is 3D-printed walking art which took over 100 hours to produce.