If you have always wanted to do as the a-listers, editors and bloggers do at fashion week, this weekend you’ll get your chance.
On the weekend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia will open to the public so the riff-raff can experience the runway and the madness of backstage. Weekend Edition will also host style sessions, workshops and masterclasses led by key players in the industry covering beauty, fashion and photography.
Attendees will preview the standout looks from SS15/16 collections straight from the runway. Kelvin Harries, the stylist for this year’s Weekend Edition, has handpicked the highlights from each designer’s show and turned them into one presentation. He will provide an insider’s view into a normally closed-door industry event. “You actually get to feel and experience what it’s like to be a front-row fashion editor, blogger or fashion buyer,” he says.
Key trends are softer, more feminine fabrics, easier shapes, updated romance and bohemian directions – a step away from the digital placement print and fitted silhouettes of the past few years.
“Highlights from this year’s event include Ellery, Strateas Carlucci’s moody aesthetic and Toni Maticevski’s breathtaking way of modernising romance. Kirrily Johnston is launching a comeback collaboration collection for Cooper St. And Akira Isogawa will be celebrating Fashion Week’s 20th anniversary with a world-exclusive presentation,” says Harries.
“It’s the energy in the audience. It’s such a buzz. I love a home crowd,” says designer Kym Ellery, who this year opened Fashion Week with a collection inspired by the women who posed for expressionist artist, Egon Schiele. “I feel they must have been bold, strong and ahead of their time, so for the season I set about creating them a modern wardrobe. I thought about what they might wear if they lived in this time.”
Also on show is Kirrily Johnston, whose new collaboration with Cooper St will feature draping, leather pieces and tailoring. “Shows are the pinnacle of the creative vision. They are intense, exhausting, exciting and incredible. I love doing shows, it’s the ultimate high,” says Johnston.
Christopher Esber has always challenged the industry with his modern designs; this year, he is doing it again, shunning the runway for a presentation and displaying 15 key looks from his new resort collection. Disney films, such as Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid, inspired Esber to subtly use natural colours. Combined with iridescent and sheer fabrics, which change colour under light and with movement, he has created an effortless, sophisticated feel.
“It sounds quite animated and kitschy, but taking those really obvious ideas and translating that into a sophisticated collection has been a challenge. Normally, it’s just about the woman and what she wants to wear, but we added this. There is a strong directional theme behind it this year,” says Esber.
Also changing it up is We Are Handsome, who will be showing its new active-wear range. Using familiar, vivid prints, the collection creates fashion-forward pieces that WAH designer Katinka Somers says can be worn straight from the gym to a bar. For her, showing at Fashion Week is all about developing something exciting for the label’s audience.
“We always plan something special in every show. We have to think about the audience and what is fun for them. At Australian Fashion Week, we know everybody who is showing, it’s a small community and we really love that. And there’s a lot of support. It’s the home-ground advantage that we really love,” says Somers.
Weekend Edition is on April 18–19 and is ticketed in bronze, silver and gold class. For tickets, see mbfashionweekended.com.au