Friday marked the conclusion of MBFWA. Looking back, it was a week that encompassed a few key themes: geometric lines, vibrant prints, lace and lots of white. All up it was a surprisingly strong and commercially viable week. Easton Pearson and Karla Spetic were standouts, the festival’s new home at Carriageworks was a success and numerous labels – Michael Lo Sordo, Vanishing Elephant, Emma Mulholland and countless others – came into their own and asserted themselves as no longer just emerging talents, but leading designers in their own right.
Designers aspiring to follow such a path were grouped together at the New Generation show. A proverbial goldmine, this year's show unearthed an array of impressive young designers. Betty Tran proved herself to be one to watch thanks to her use of sumptuous metallic brocades.
Building upon his interior design background, Jamie Ashkar, impressed with his construction, proportions and plunging necklines.
Interestingly, the group show also included a familiar name in Desert Designs. Originally a label from the 1980s, Desert Designs has recently undergone a revamp thanks to Jedda Daisy-Culley and Caroline Sundt-Wels, who next summer will ensure you'll want to walk along the Australian beach in vibrant Indigenous art prints. Red-carpet friendly designer Tristan Melle also caught everyone's eye, sending out an accessible and revealing collection that will no doubt appeal to Sydney's bronzed fashion set. His pairing of leopard print with lemon sorbet showed his undoubtedly original perspective, which we are sure to see more of.
An original perspective was also at the forefront of the Zambesi show. While local designers had ruled the catwalk all week, it was ironically the international label that closed MBFWA, and you could tell. Following a week of bright prints, body-con silhouettes and sheer cut-outs, the New Zealand label asserted its international approach with a collection that played on shade, proportion and trans-seasonal dressing. Elisabeth Findlay and Dayne Johnston focused on high necklines, tartan and little colour, while the menswear line was equally directional with experimental suiting and even a pair of overalls.
Once the official shows were over, the fashion set headed off to let their hair down. This year, the party on everyone's lips was the Hello Elle runway event, heralding the official introduction of Elle magazine to our shores. After rumours last year that the magazine was set to be relaunched, the Bauer Media group made the move, halting the production of Grazia and Madison in order to make way for the glossy Elle publication. Set to officially launch in September, the magazine will be helmed by Justine Cullen, previously of Shop Til You Drop magazine.