Eva Galambos has been to every Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney since its inception in 1996. She’s seen it all – from simple and stunning designs, such as Linda Evangelista wearing the memorable white ball gown for Alex Perry in 1997, to the youthful bursts of colour of Romance Was Born and Camilla.

“Over the last 20 years, a lot of the designers who have emerged have created their own distinct style. They now feel confident enough to have their own signature look, and to create flourishing, successful and proud businesses.”

Being a season ahead, there are always trends from overseas that trickle through.

“So whether it is lace-up shoes à la Chloé that will appear, or a lot of white, orange, bright yellow or a lot of shades of blue (which is very big in Paris at the moment). And khaki as well –we’re going to see a lot of that.”

She notes, however, that many Australians ignore the international trends to create their own aesthetic.

The big four to look out for this year are Maticevski, Ellery, Christopher Esber and Romance Was Born. Beyond this, Steven Khalil is one to watch. He will debut his ready-to-wear collection rather than his classic couture gowns.

“I think there’s a big buzz around him because he understands production, he understands how to create beautiful product that a lot of women want to wear. It’s sexual and feminine,” Galambos says.

Strateas.Carlucci is a relatively new brand from Melbourne which has done a lot in a short amount of time. Similarly, Maurice Terzini (Icebergs) of Ten Pieces is another to look out for. His distinctive design aesthetic is based on his androgynous personal dressing.

The designers who are at their peak right now are Alice McCall, Bianca Spender and Ginger & Smart, who have had a, “massive resurgence” of late. Kirrily Johnston is another. She has developed a new approach to her traditional collections by debuting a high-street range, CS EDIT x KIRRILY JOHNSTON. “I’ve always loved Kirrily’s design aesthetics. She’s been a large presence in the fashion industry and I think her capsule collection with Cooper St is hugely exciting,” Galambos said.

Akira Isogawa’s much-anticipated return to the Sydney stage will be the highlight of the week for Galambos. For her, he epitomises the dynamic and truly Australian style she loves.

“For me, the highlight of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney has been watching Australian designers make Australia a fashion destination that is plausible and incredible and exciting, and we’re there. We’re recognised now. And we have fantastic talent that is sold in the best boutiques all over the world. We’ve made it.”

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