The opening runway show for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week was truly spectacular. Hesitant to attend for fear of being ‘fashionably jaded’ due to jetting off to New York for the past two years to cover shows there, MSFW shone with a radiance befitting the fashion capital of Australia. And with just the right amount of designers showcased too, which kept the catwalk interesting and up-tempo, not boring or drawn out. I was remarkably impressed, however it must be said that the designers that were showcased have rarely delivered anything mediocre, and are the crème de la crème when it comes to Australian fashion.
Opening the show was the well adored Scanlan & Theodore label (above), displaying metallic silver threaded tops that were flowing as freely as the model’s silken hair, coupled with grey leather pencil skirts and pastel pink or black sheer silk chiffon shirts. With hot accessories like steel toed stilettos reminiscent of ’80s power dressing and chic oversized clutches, Scanlan’s usual edgy demeanour was evident in the details.
Toni Maticevski (above) was a stand-out, with his innate ability to cut fabric that not only forms the silhouette of a woman effortlessly, it also allows the movement of the body to be exhibited in a graceful and powerful display of craftsmanship. His opening outfit was a beautiful black dress with shoulder and hip detailing, both feminine and bearing authority – sharing both light and shade. Many of the outfits were born of deconstructed tailoring, in true Maticevski style, yet somehow deconstructed to their own bidding; with the knowledge of where to gather and where to fall. With nudes and blacks dominating, the details and cuts spoke volumes with strapless sweetheart, plunging and razor front dresses. Maticevski closed with a gorgeous shin length black fish scale skirt and scalloped champagne coloured shirt.
Gwendolynne (above) managed to stop my heart and take my breath, as she dazzled with her collection of bridal, 1920s’ ethereal inspired gowns. The word ‘bridal’ does not even begin to do justice to this assortment of romantic and utterly gorgeous dresses. With such intricate detailing, incorporating lace, silk, satin and chiffon, each gown is as unique as it is splendid. With low backs and pearl buttons, lace capped sleeves and embellishments beyond your wildest dreams; the model’s floated onto the catwalk like dream-like nymphs. Call me biased (because I am a bride-to-be) but Gwendolynne has been providing the fashion sphere with such beautiful concoctions for years, and this collection was nothing short of outstanding. And with her wildly creative and gifted milliner extraordinaire and close friend, Richard Nylon also at the helm, crafting exquisite beaded head scarves for the collection, the two compliment eat other as well as Red Velvet cupcakes and Earl Grey at a High Tea soiree.
Christine (above) brought the colours of spring to the forefront, with a unique twist. Incorporating neon, floral, tribal and black & white prints was an effortless task, but glammed to the max. Hyper colour dyed tassels hanging from silk oversized scarves; cat eye sunglasses with fluoro tinted lenses; high waisted ’60s inspired pants cinched with skinny belts. There was no clash of ideals in sight. There was only a perfect fusion. No overkill but a sweet blossoming of life. Some excellent jewellery accessories – wooden cuffs, sparkling bangles and a tres chic early Polaroid-type elongated bags and box clutches.
A ‘wow’ was uttered from my parted lips as Aurelio Costarella‘s first ensemble entered the catwalk (above). A turquoise invention akin to a showgirl on absinthe, with corset and marabou feathered trim, complete with startling pom poms headpiece, thanks to Reny Kestel, and AH-mazing feather fringed heels. With pops of spring colour including mustard, blue and silver the collection was tailored sophistication; with gathered ruffles, draped silhouettes and form fitting grown-up dressing, with a creamy dollop of fun.
Pleats were thrown to the wayside in place of ‘panelled’ dressing, thanks to Michael Lo Sordo (above).With cut out panels, Lo Sordo was cheeky with his designs of cool mint, sheer black and metallic silver. The panels cleverly covered the model’s modesty, as said panels skipped from side to side as the model walked. Also exhibiting a death defying plunge-neck black jumpsuit reminiscent of Scarface, Lo Sordo changed the rules up a bit, and it was refreshing.
The pant suit was back in a big way, with Ellery (above) showcasing the look with subtle black detailing and an oversized, sleeveless jacket, or silk buttoned up shirt. There was also a wonderful deep green gown, with some clever gathering; however the silver foil-esque wrap- around dress is something I would not write home about.
And finally, Lui Hon owned a true presence on the catwalk, just by simply having his model pause at the beginning of the runway; the light causing her to become a striking silhouette. The simplicity continued with a razor-backed, cropped and low cut-out white gown with sequined detailing that was effortless. Some beautifully tailored deep electric blue jackets, pants and crisp white dresses, gathered and let loose in places so cleverly, that it displayed just how affiliated Hon is with the structure of material and its relationship with the human form.