Day three of MBFWA kicked off in ecstatic style, with Alice McCall presenting a commercial collection sure to re-excite even the label’s most devoted fans. In true McCall style, a flirty mix of feminine silhouettes and bohemian prints came together in a range aptly titled Babooshka.
Taking Budapest’s stained glass windows as inspiration, clean white acted as a base for a range of vibrant graphic prints, some of which were softened beneath dusty pink and blue chiffon overlays. These pastel tones were reworked in their own right as flowing silk shifts with neon beadwork and fitted tangerine dresses. Though McCall channelled Hungarian folk-art throughout the range, it was presented with a futuristic twist sure to excite devotees and label newcomers alike. Traditional silhouettes were articulated via cut-out apron necklines and dramatic lampshade skirts. The addition of stiffened peplum shapes in gold and sports-luxe trousers and shorts brought a more directional element to the range.
Up next, Sara Phillips delved into a world of colour for SS 12/13. Since her label launch in 2009, Phillips has progressed through casual daywear and stiffer silhouettes to settle on an effortlessly tailored and refined aesthetic. Her latest collection cemented this, through a sharp mix of architectural silhouettes in vivid prints with lace underlays and pleated detail.
For a designer that normally sticks to an earthy colour palette, vibrant hues were a thrilling surprise in the collection. Explosive teal, neon orange and pink were worked in via block colour and print combinations, with pant suits and simple shift dresses made eccentric through a quirky stripe motif. Miniature pleats cast in toned down lilac and pastel hues added a coolness and girly frivolity, also unusual for Phillips. Well known for her visual references to the natural Australian landscape, Phillips season gave this theme a classic spin this season, with a reworking of baroque prints to include native flora. Just to keep us guessing, the designer also stepped into more exotic regions, with a graphic print full of jungle beasts that would look at home inside a Graeme Base picture book.
Come the afternoon, Bec & Bridge presented a grown-up collection for the decidedly youthful label. Set against a lush tropical backdrop, Paradiso Bianco followed a resort theme set against a white backdrop, unveiling a relaxed yet clean range of summery pieces.
Broderie anglaise and crosshatched fabrics created a textural base for softly tailored separates, while chiffon palazzo pants added flow to the range. A blue mosaic print decorated long line skirts cut twice at the front, while a neon floral motif adorned panelled blouses and tailored pants.
The much-hyped Ellery show took its followers to a sunlit second storey in Paddington for what must be described as one of the highlights of the week so far. The sublime collection, named Delicatessen after Ellery’s childhood teddy bear, featured richly layered textures and powerful silhouettes.
Kym Ellery is nothing if not unwavering in her creative vision. While signature peplum silhouettes made an appearance, the collection felt stronger than many of its predecessors, with sporty undertones, high necklines and sculptured draping.
Even the Ellery girls were a cut above the norm. Sophisticated and sexy, they stood apart from all other shows in their coolness and maturity. Though graceful, these models managed to look like pretty little teddy bears, with little ears propped on headbands, a shape mimicked in bulbous organza shoulders and oversized sleeves. True to the effortlessly opulent Ellery signature, a colour palette of ox blood red and forest green was set off against a monotone backdrop. Clean cut dresses and boxy tops in brushed suede were cast in rouge, while a smattering of red glitter tulle accentuated its matte counterparts. Though metallics are an Ellery staple, they were paired back this season with eye-catching glimpses proving that all that glitters is not gold. Think form-fitting skirts in molten silver and heavy metallic detailing on bomber-like jackets.
Directional, clean and sexy, Ellery SS 12/13 saw onlookers practically falling out of their seats – a sure sign that the show will be remembered log after fashion week. We can’t wait to see the international reaction to the range.