With rapidly flashing lights and a grinding, aeroplane roar blasting out of the speakers, the Independent Runway “take off” will not be quickly forgotten, thanks to my headache. Luckily, neither will the collections on show. With unique vision and an unwavering commitment to bold creativity, the independents rallied to prove that they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Christina Exie
The runway took a dark, moody turn for Exie’s collection. With a hint of avant-garde, the collection was crisp, modern and thoroughly directional. Each piece carried the same bleeding monochromatic print – a simple, yet effective defining characteristic. Bell-sleeved coats, long, tailored vests and a beautifully constructed black cape sat perched upon soft, flowing dresses and skirts. This collection was a perfect pairing of structure and femininity.
In a word … Striking

Emma Mulholland
Emma Mulholland certainly had the quirkiest collection of the night. The Ulladulla expat took us on a trip of nostalgia for hyper-colour ’90s surf culture. We’re talking sequinned zebra print in vivid purple and black, glittering purple metallics and a bold green-and-black giraffe print. There were even matching backpacks. Mini skirts and thigh-skimming dresses paired with oversized jumpers or letterman style jackets punctuated the collection.
In a word … Anti-establishment

Shoulder pads and geometric, severe silhouettes mixed with figure-hugging bodycon – add in big hair, razor-sharp cheekbones and you’ve got yourself the ’80s. The monochromatic colour palette of the collection is accentuated by punches of magenta, white and electric green. Leather and sequins made an appearance, with a green sequin mini dress a standout. You’ve got to have a damn good figure to pull this collection off, but you’ll give Grace Jones a run for her money if you do.
In a word … Punchy.

One Fell Swoop
Ah, the delicate drape and undeniable femininity of Nikolina Ergic and Daniel Romanin’s One Fell Swoop. These kids sure know how to enchant an audience with their minimalistic silhouettes and lush, earthy tones. Dusty pink and chalky grey took over the runway in the form of soft, flowing dresses. A deep-teal cape was a runway standout, seamlessly paired with a dusty grey-blue silk dress. The silhouettes remained just shy of form-fitting without treading into the realm of the oversized.
In a word … Delicate

Garth Cook
Fur, fur and more fur. In his entirely monochromatic collection, Cook added texture and dimension to his folded, sculpted silhouettes by adding a touch of faux fur … on almost everything. The fur-adorned highlights were a fur and snakeskin white mini dress and an oversized shift dress where the fur detailing met pleats at the hemline. One of the only things not embellished in fur was the collection standout – a long-sleeved little black dress which, while loose fitting, held a beautiful silhouette.
In a word … Textured

Kathryn Beker
Beker poetically combines delicate details with bold statements in this inspired collection. Structured shoulder pads paired with asymmetrical, floating hemlines give balance, flow and structure to each piece. Gold metallic, dusty pink, black and white make up the colour palette with collection standouts being a quietly embellished, structured black top with a tulle hem over a flowing silk skirt and the final piece – a floor-length dress with a heavy silk skirt in midnight blue.
In a word … Balanced

Neo Dia
Line, shape and proportion are the backbone of this collection. The lines are clean and the tailoring sharp. Quite a safe collection, but it contained some lovely wardrobe staples, especially if you’re after a simple, chic little black dress with a splash of colour.
In a word … Simple

The prints for this collection are a true blend of artistry and couture. The seemingly hand-painted prints feature bright pink, green, blue and yellow and appear throughout the collection anchored by black. Innovative tailoring sees hemlines scoop low at the back, while grazing the knees at the front. Leather and silk make for a beautiful textural juxtaposition, and the silhouettes are simple and clean, slightly loose to fit, but very feminine.
In a word … Artistic

From Britten
If a tracksuit fell in love with a business suit, this collection is what their baby would look like. Fusing a minimalist and offbeat approach to design, From Britten has taken casual Friday to a whole new level. The collection is a mix of (way) oversized blazers teamed with printed pyjama-looking pants, relaxed-fit pinstripe pants (with a drawstring) and loose fitting jumpers. Until businesses start embracing the tracksuit vibe as a viable work-wear option, I’m just not sure where this would fit in the everyday man’s wardrobe.
In a word … Offbeat

Runway Takeaways

Expected? Outlandish creativity

Unexpected? The roaring-plane soundtrack

Highlight(s): One Fell Swoop and Kathryn Beker

Overheard … Onlooker (referring to the models): “I’d kill for those legs.”

Spotted … Feathered collars, headpieces, boleros.

See Runway #1, Runway #3, Runway #4 and Runway #6 here.