Last week, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) treated audiences to a glimpse of the looks about to hit stores for autumn/winter.
We saw blocks of bright colours playing off against wintery neutrals, denim-on-denim (better known as the Canadian tuxedo) and print-on-print, the continuation of plaid and more suiting, though now we’re seeing matching separates in more laid-back, gentle textures such as silk and linen.
We caught up with members of the local fashion pack – Thurley designer Helen O’Connor, Bassike co-founder Mary Lou Ryan, stylist Jade Leung, and Sister Studios’s Alice McIntosh – to find out what they’ll be adding to their shopping carts and what trends they’d like to see the back of this year.
Broadsheet: Based on what we saw at VAMFF, what trends are coming our way for autumn/winter ’19?
Helen O’Connor from Thurley: Beautiful soft layered silks and prints. And then in the later months: knitwear, coats, jackets, leather that [you] can wear back with stockings and boots.
Stylist Jade Leung: Cinching at the waist. Chunky soled boots. Bold colours like mustard, green. And prints. I loved seeing a lot of colourful flats and kitten heels paired with denim. Some of my favourite looks were the ones that were a mix of casual, or street, and a feature shoe or feature accessory.
Alice McIntosh from Sister Studios: Lots of bright colours in store, as well as pieces for layering up as it gets colder ... Some gorgeous new jumpsuits are coming in. And ’60s-inspired miniskirts.
Broadsheet: What’s one key piece you’re adding to your wardrobe this season?
Mary Lou Ryan: A pair of quality Japanese denim jeans are a must in any wardrobe.
Alice McIntosh: A good corduroy suit and cowboy boots. Also, sheer polka dot tights!
Jade Leung: My key trend piece is the fashion sneaker… or multiple pairs! I’m on set all the time or running around, so comfort is key. I find shoes are one of the friendliest trends, as they never discriminate.
Broadsheet: We’ve seen a lot of muted colours the last couple of years. In terms of colourways, what are you seeing this season?
Mary Lou Ryan from Bassike: Alongside our favourite palette of black, white, grey and neutrals, this season you’ll see interesting hints of bold colour in yellow, turquoise and red.
Jade Leung: Colourways I’m excited to see trickle down – even to our black-centric home in Melbourne – are moving away from the extremely tired millennial pink into something bolder. Really into fuchsia actually. And I’m seeing it all mixed in with printed twinsets and some cute hardware.
Broadsheet: Do you see the current streetwear trend continuing? Or is more formal dressing on the way back?
Mary Lou Ryan: I think we’ll see both continue throughout seasons to come. For Bassike it’s about a mix of both, and how elevated and casual pieces work together; a pull-on waist, relaxed suit pant working back with a piece in cotton jersey.
Jade Leung: Thanks to the higher powers that be – Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga and Vetements – and an ongoing obsession with the fashion sneaker and high-end streetwear, I can’t see there being any relevance for formal dressing … unless of course you’re going to the Oscars. Or perhaps the Brownlow a little closer to home.
Alice McIntosh: The beauty of this city is the way people dress how they feel. Taking styles and trends here and there, but ultimately putting things together in their own way and creating our own trends.
Broadsheet: How do you think current trends reflect the state of the world right now?
Alice McIntosh: More customers are showing an interest in sustainably-produced clothing. [This] is creating more of a demand for natural fibres.
Helen O’Connor: Customers are really looking for versatility these days … something that’s a little bit more chameleon-like, slots into your wardrobe, and you’ll get multi wears out of it. And I know that’s what I look for, when I shop – can I wear it to work? Can I wear it out?
Mary Lou Ryan: More than ever, customers are able to buy into and move on from trends as quickly as they are conceived, but we believe this is not sustainable. As a designer if you are not making steps to lighten your impact, then you’ll be left behind.
Jade Leung: Trend-makers are using their garments and shows as a way to send particular messages to the world. Maria Grazia Chiuri, for example, sending a strong unifying, feminist message with T-shirts stating “Sisterhood Is Global”, “Sisterhood is Powerful” and “Sisterhood is Forever”. [People] are using the power of their social influence to voice their opinions, which is something that couldn’t be done as effectively before.
Broadsheet: What trend do you want to see the back of this year?
Alice McIntosh: Bike shorts [laughs]. Nah, everyone can wear whatever they like, but it’s just been a hard look for us to get around, especially the bike shorts with blazer look. It’s fun to watch trends come and go.
Jade Leung: Exposed fishnets under extremely ripped jeans. Or any jeans really … let’s leave that locked away for a while.
Helen O’Connor: I’ve had enough of streetwear. I’m all about adhering to dress codes and I love formality. I’d love to see the back of everyone dressing like they don’t care – and caring again! Sequins at breakfast!