A couple of weeks ago, during Melbourne Fashion Week 2018, we saw the impossibly vogue walk the streets, while on the runway, regular-size and mature-age models dominated more than ever before.

When it came to garb, at times things got a little bit BDSM, but we saw romantic themes too; florals and floaty silhouettes. There was an abundance of colour-blocked suits, toolkits were worn as accessories, and the ongoing supremacy of athleisure, clashing prints and the bumbag were cemented for a few more months – at least.

Broadsheet caught up with designers from local labels Arnsdorf, Obus, Kuwaii, Amxander and Anna Quan, as well as stylists Sarah Banger and Stuart Walford to chat highlights and trends.

Broadsheet: What will we be seeing a lot of this season?
Megan Carr from Obus: Pattern-clashing and print-on-print layering is not going away any time soon, and yet it always seems fresh. Prints are such a focal part of our collections; it’s nice to see an awareness of how pairing prints can work for everyday outfitting.

Jade Sarita Arnott from Arnsdorf: There was a return of colour this season with a number of designers infusing their collections … from red, burnt orange and pinks, to vibrant blues and powder blues.

Kristy Barber from Kuwaii: Bags to carry your goodies are definitely heading in an irreverent direction this season. We saw clear phone holders for your belt at Amxander, sushi-mat bags at Dress Up, clear totes, stuffed with flowers from Cecilia Fox, at our runway, giant hot-pink faux fur bags at the Student Runway. Bumbag game [is] still strong, [we saw] them side-slung across the body at Acler Women.

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Rong Jake Chen from Amxander: Pieces that have a fluid transition between genders. Duality consisting of masculine [and] feminine styles. We were a strictly menswear practice, and the last few seasons we really have seen such a change in what our supporters want that we now have a clearer idea of [the Amxander] woman … it’s coming at such a great time where support for this is emerging.

Anna Quan: Gingham, plaid, check. They are starting to re-emerge as the weather warms up.

Broadsheet: What are some of the strongest looks you saw during the week?
Stuart Walford: Still Still Studio delivered some beautiful sequin and feather ensembles while Michael Lo Sordo nailed the perfect pink suit. Sandro Paris is the ultimate go-to for off-duty french chic mixed with tomboy glamour. They do tailored jackets like no one else and when paired back with a simple wide leg denim, it really is the ultimate effortless look and perfect for going just about anywhere ... And we even saw an Undercover spacesuit with LED lighting in the hood! Talk about epic!

Anna Quan: Lee Matthews [had] the right balance of modest, romantic and tailored. Claire Meyer’s monochromatic looks – I appreciate when someone can balance sequins, texture and animal print. It’s a hard thing to pull off as a designer.

Megan Carr: We love the sporty-luxe trend present in a lot of shows this year … Looks from Dress Up and PE Nation piqued our interest in that regard. Erik Yvon and Nina Sepahpour’s collaboration collection was a standout – just the right mix of colour, print-on-print play and a dose of tongue-in-cheek humour.

Jade Sarita Arnott: The strongest looks played with volume and form and offered new directions for dressing. Michael Lo Sordo’s long and narrow silhouettes in dresses, silk shirts and trousers; Dion Lee’s laser-cut tartan skirt; Scanlan and Theodore’s shiny coats; Bianca Spender’s twisted plaid top; and it was wonderful seeing Arnsdorf’s Bow Dress lead the finale! Our blush-pink puffed Greta top and matching pant also received lots of attention.

Rong Jake Chen: I loved Corepret’s (we shared the runway) off-shoulder piece – I think it’s called the Awkward Ball Gown. But I am really enjoying this diversity of models on the runway. It really helps translate the looks in such a realistic and authentic manner, but also it’s so good to see MFW really representing its real demographic more and more each year.

Broadsheet: Whose show really stood out?
Rong Jake Cheng: The energy of the underground runways was amazing, I think any runway that can translate the brand’s intentions and takes it a bit further and remixes it in unexpected ways – that’s exciting. And that’s what Ella Murphy did for Underground Runway 2. Not to mention the venue [Degraves Underpass]. The location definitely was refreshing to see for MFW. The space is so important to help translate an idea – at least we think so – so hoping to see more of this in the future.

Anna Quan: I love watching Student Collections. It reminds me to always be curious and experimental.

Stuart Walford: The Closing Runway was an epic way to close out MFW 2018, so I'd have to say this takes the cake for me. For the first time ever, we got to see new international boutiques and designers such as Sandro Paris, The Kooples, LEFT & Masons debut at Melbourne Fashion Week.

Broadsheet: Any up-and-coming designers we should have our eye on?
Jade Sarita Arnott: Accessories brand Actually Existing.

Kristy Barber: I think the Student Runway truly delivered in terms of a colour, silhouette and conceptual explosion. I really loved Sophie McIntosh’s non-binary capsule collection in blood red, navy and optical white.

Stuart Walford: I'm a huge fan of Molly Younger at the moment. Her latest range of latex bags are so fascinating! The Bubbled Tote is moulded from bubble wrap and comes in 7 different colours. I can't deicide between these and her Latex Lunch Bags with photographic prints. They really are completely amazing.

Sarah Banger: SZN from Street Runway Two presented raw-edged, patchwork denim silhouettes that felt bespoke yet effortless.

Anna Quan: I’ve been following Chris Ran Lin. The knitwear is to die for.

Broadsheet: What’s your pick when it comes to micro-trends?
Jade Sarita Arnott: Long silhouettes, drapery, voluminous sleeves.

Sarah Banger: Updated cowboy boots, and bucket hats in luxe fabrics such as the vegan leather styles from Avenue ... Dad-sneakers, worn with or without ribbed socks, such as the Air Max 95s from Platypus Shoes that featured with the Levi's showcase in Street Runway One.

Kristy Barber: Workwear. I’m talking literally, a garbage-person-in-NYC-in-the-1970s look. Kloke menswear delivered some super-cool workwear-inspired looks – even carrying toolkits down the runway – and at Verner we saw models wearing rubber gloves and gumboots. I saw this trend for the practical contrasted with really overtly beautiful, feminine and nearly avant-garde looks from Arnsdorf and Alpha 60 amongst others.

Rong Jake Cheng: Quirky head accessories – think headscarves, new translations of the flat cap, ’80s bucket hats. Also, a bit of the “bedroom” emerges, in a different way than before – a bit more voyeuristic, a bit more sadomasochist (think strong PVC/leather).

Anna Quan: Those bead bags are everywhere. I think we will see lots of them in every colour.

Megan Carr: Something that really stood out this year was representations of diversity on the runway. Slowly, models are becoming a truer representation of the diversity of our city – both culturally and from an ability perspective. It was great to see MFW embrace this. Let’s hope it’s not a trend but a permanent fixture of how we talk about and present Australian fashion to the world.

Broadsheet: What fabrics will we be seeing more of soon?
Rong Jake Cheng: Ginghams, soft viscose, natural fibres like wool contrasted against real hard-hitting un-naturals like frosted PVC. [Amxander currently has a completely frosted look in its collection.]

Stuart Walford: I really think the colour lavender is going to pick-up speed and become a wardrobe favourite! Michael Lo Sordo showcased some silk-satin 2 piece ensembles which were so divine.

Jade Sarita Arnott: Fluid silks and linens.

Megan Carr: As the fashion world becomes more aware of its impact on the environment, we hope we’ll see more natural, organic and/or regenerated fibres make their way into the mainstream. Technology is moving fast and to see new fabrics being developed from the waste products of other industries is a really exciting development. This is good news for designers and customers.

Anna Quan: Woven prints, specifically checks and gingham.

Kristy Barber: Colour! Excitingly, I noticed a beautiful array of colour and print across all the runways this season. There was a departure from the defining black and white, which I thought was super. Stylists clearly had fun combining colour, texture, print, layers and accessories to create looks that moved away from the minimalism we have seen for the last few years.