There’s a reason why Tokyo-born Akira starred in his own Australian Legend postage stamps in 2005. His collection married lush pinks, oranges and reds with Japanese kimono prints. Silk dresses hung from the body like liquid, with some draped over patterned leggings. Platformed wedge-heels lent the show a sense of the theatrical, with models walking down the runway with a geisha-like gait. In a word: Sublime.
As one of the most ethereal, contemporary designers in the country, Yeojin Bae can be relied on for innovation. Bae’s collection had distinctive ’80s sex appeal, offering bandage-top dresses with thigh-high splits. Flesh was revealed in all the right places, which balanced the raciness with refinement. Coral pink, emerald green and black packed the desired punch. In a word: Seductive.
Helen O’Connor has carved herself a niche for elegant womenswear. She unveiled an extension of the Thurley brand with daywear and accessories. Flowing fabric in creamy lace was complemented by delicate jewellery and headdresses. Think Picnic at Hanging Rock goes glam. Among the evening attire was silver lace and a jeweled black pantsuit. In a word: Mythical.
Since launching his eponymous label in 2004, Jayson Brunsdon goes from strength to strength. Models were sent down the runway in show-stopping heels and dresses adorned with sequins. Silhouettes were gorgeously composed with A-line skirts, flapper dresses and goddess-like gowns in black and bronze. Metallic jungle prints added flair to this luxurious collection. In a word: Sparkling.
Arthur Galan AG
Arthur Galan has become the go-to designer for sophisticated ladies and gents. Dresses were cinched at the waist with thick leather belts, and splashed with geometric prints that looked like spider webs. Men were decked-out in printed jackets and chino shorts and checked shirts. A stand out was the pale-pink suit. In a word: Sleek.
Megan Park’s beginnings as a textile designer shone through in every garment in her spring/summer range. Using bold floral prints, embroidery and beading, Park sent all the colour of spring down the catwalk. Gold lace-ups and tribal jewellery added surprising pop, while dresses in black and cream, fuchsia and yellow provided a well-judged contrast. In a word: Sumptuous.
Former architect Nicola Finetti exhibited his draftsmanship skills with a collection that was all sleek lines and impeccable tailoring. Figure-hugging dresses were made from a collage of kaleidoscopic prints and block colours, such as purple and persimmon. Asymmetrical hemlines, prominent zips and Perspex cuffs lent the collection a futuristic aspect. In a word: Masterful.
For dapper chaps after a classic look with a quirky twist, Calibre never disappoints. There was a touch of dandy, with models striding down the runway in ankle-length slacks, Libertyesque prints and flowers in their lapels. There was a gingham tie, snakeskin loafers and bright polo tees. More traditional suits and shirts harmonised with the statement pieces. In a word: Spunky
Rosemary Masic presented a romantic, feminine collection that echoed her signature aesthetic. Old-fashioned lace dresses were embellished with embroidery and gold beading. Models in doily-like headdresses, ruffled dresses and brogues looked unusually glamorous. There was a feeling of the old-world mixed with Aztec styling. In a word: Intriguing.
Christine Barro brings the exotic to Melbourne’s minimalism and she has an eagle eye for distinctive accessories and fripperies from around the globe. Models had batik scarves wrapped around their heads, and wore mirrored sunglasses and chunky, flat-wedged shoes. Prints were all bold patterns and wild colours, paired with deluxe satchels, clutches and statement jewellery. In a word: Flamboyant
Expected? Stunning silk gowns by Akira.
Unexpected? Yeojin Bae’s bandage dresses delivered the ultimate va-va-voom.
Highlight … The lacy cat mask complete with ears and matching gloves from Christine.
Spotted … A gentleman dressed head-to-toe in skin-tight black leather and a fox fur stole draped around his shoulders.
Melbourne Spring Fashion Week runs until Sunday September 7. For program and ticket information visit thatsmelbourne.com.au/msfw.