L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Wrap 2013

All photography by Lucas Dawson.
My stance when it comes to critiquing this year’s L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival is all about quality, not quantity. Without the monotony of listing each and every consumer label, this year I focused my prowess and energy on the standout designers from the shows I attended. The unique ones that presented a fashion palette that was neither mediocre nor tedious; the ones who woke me up from my runway lull and slapped my senses awake at full force.

The most prolific designer to distinguish the catwalk was the remarkable Mary Katrantzou; the Greek born, London based sensation. Coming from a background seeped in international design prestige – from opening the Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design’s graduate show and consequentially having her prêt-à-porter collection shown at the A/W London Fashion Week in the same year; to having fashion royalty from Anna Della Russo and Sarah Jessica Parker to Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba don her unique and cleverly crafted dresses. Katrantzou is stocked in over 200 global high-end fashion stores and online sites like Net-a-Porter and will now be stocked at David Jones in Australia. Katrantzou’s intricately pieced together garments, complete with illustrious prints, beading, embellishments, fringing, layers, structured shoulders and long paneled skirts juxtapose in wonderful harmony.

Katrantzou’s latest assortment included stamp collection prints with coloured beads and iridescent pearls; featuring patterns of old world stamps from around the globe. There were also more unimaginable items like typewriters, pencils and trees that were featured throughout. Colourful, spontaneous, unique and flattering, these garments scream theatre, regalia, vivaciousness and creativity.

In terms of the Australian designers that showcased, there were of course some stars that shone in an indigo sky. Alice McCall’s fun and sexy collection (example above) included bright neon mini-dresses featuring leopard and peacock motifs, chic turbans and an adorable silk and lace overlay, high-waisted pant and cropped peasant top combination.

Bianca Spender (above) was a highlight for me, as I am currently obsessed with her wildfire red silk and backless gown. It is remarkably elegant, and the pant-suit combination in the same colour is to die for.

Camilla (above) set about exhibiting an Aztec vibe, with clashing chiffon animal prints of wild cats and tropical birds, thigh-high tanned leather boots, large nose rings and facial jewelry that brought together a very eclectic and spirited collection.

Carla Zampatti’s elegant and sophisticated collection (above) included black and white combinations of sequined pant-suits, a glamorous black velvet, one-armed full length dress with sequined detailing, and a striking silver and white flowing gown. Zampatti’s assemblage was smart, sexy and impactful.

Mariana Hardwick’s latest inception aptly named, Hardwick (above) exhibited risqué sheer black lace dresses that were highly sexy, even if impractical for the Wintery months. But then again, leather and lace were made for one another and Hardwick married the two effortlessly.

Lucas Dawson Photography

Jayson Brundson (above) created another one of my favourite outfits of the week – a pale cobalt silk chiffon jumpsuit, with heart-shaped lace bodice complete with scalloped décolletage. Absolutely gorgeous, and in my opinion the best piece in his collection.

Ksubi (above) rocked it out with black and gold rock star glamour of sleeveless gold embroidered shirts and ass-cheek-high short shorts, biker gloves and boyfriend leather pants together with ‘The Good Versus God’ slogan t-shirts that screamed of chic rebellion, as well as low-waisted light denim shorts and tight leather leotard.

Rachel Gilbert’s flawlessly lux collection (above) of heavily beaded and sequined gowns was a knock-out. With colours of blush, emerald and granite her gowns are wonderfully feminine, graceful and not to mention sought highly after.

Willow004

Willow’s unique high sheen russet coloured material and black leather carved and cut-out dresses were powerful in their structural brilliance and femininity. Equally so in sheer chiffon or as a skirt and jacket combination with subtle peplum detailing.

Yeojin Bae’s JB J’Aime collection struck a prevailing chord, with intensely sharp blood-red pant-suits and trench coats. Harking back to the power dressing of the ’80s but with a modern outlook, complete with Akubra hats, there were also sheer lace pants (which the designer herself wore to perfection) married to tailored jackets or flowing floral print pant and top combos. It was refreshing, dashing and assertive.

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Not only were the above designers worthy of note, the #Rekordelig Bar was also a welcomed site at LMFF this year. With refreshingly tasty cocktails, it was the perfect place to gather before the night’s shows, and an embraced distraction from the excessive champagne consumption always seen at fashion week.

Runway photography by Lucas Dawson.

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