Kicking off MBFWA 16, Toni Maticevski debuted his Resort 17 collection at The Cutaway at Barangaroo. The space was impressive, with a 40m wide catwalk, and the clothes equally as spectacular.
Maticevski is known for his romantic silhouettes and fabrications, however this season he introduced a new Maticevski girl to the fold, one who had a dark side. Maticevski collaborated with Ryan Storer on bondage-esque jewellery that included a bejewelled ball-gag, oversized spider-style choke and diamanté studded handcuffs that complimented his darker collection.
Signature Maticevski ball-gowns came down the runway accessorised with Matrix-esque sunglasses, suiting was paired with sequinned crop-tops and skirts were skintight with a chic mermaid kick at the end.
The result was a sophisticated and dazzling collection that set the bar high for the rest of the designers presenting at this year’s MBFWA.GEORGIA ALICE
New Zealand native Georgia Currie’s label Georgia Alice has been making waves both across the Tasman and internationally and this year's MBFWA set the stage for her first runway show. Inspired by a community of women who re-settled in the New Mexico desert, away from contemporary capitalist society, the Georgia Alice woman is nomadic, progressive and walks to the beat of her own drum.
Georgia Alice has made a name for itself with its signature shirting, and various oversized and exaggerated shirting silhouettes walked the runway, styled with varying degrees of layering. The colour palette was muted, with black, white, grey and a touch of silver dominating the collection.DION LEE
Dion Lee showcased his RESORT 17 Runway show on the rooftop of a skyscraper on Bligh St in the middle of the CBD. With the blinking lights of Sydney below, Lee presented a sexy and elegant collection of form-fitting cocktail and mini dresses, separates and bodysuits.
One of the most lauded shows of the season, Dion Lee maintains his core aesthetic and creative vision for every collection and in doing so he is able to evolve and grow as both a designer and brand.MAGRAW
Founded by sisters Beth and Tess McGraw in 2012, MacGraw has had a strong lead up to their MBFWA show, winning the $100,000 Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award and placing as finalists in the Woolmark Prize.
With such a strong lead-up, expectations were high and the MacGraw sisters did not disappoint. Beaming models walked the runway in a retro-inspired collection of floaty lady-bug printed maxi dresses, a velvet three piece suit and macrame lace mini dresses. The colour palette was pastel-inspired and there were a variety of textures and fabrications at play and the result was a fun, feminine and flirty offering for Resort 17.ALBUS LUMEN
Albus Lumen has only been on the fashion scene for a little over a year but already this collection from Australian stylist Marina Afonina has reached cult status. Afonina chose to debut her collections second season at MBFWA with a presentation at PIX Studios.
The Albus Lumen woman is not “drawn in by flashiness and glamour”. Rather she lives in an eternal summer while maintaining a quiet feminine confidence.
The collection reflected this core aesthetic with models being displayed wearing floor length kaftan-esque linen dresses dyed in a deep bordeaux and navy, wrap linen skirts, and what is fast-becoming Lumen’s signature fringed scarf wrapped around their necks. We loved the introduction of suede into the collection and the deep rust suede shift dress was a stand-out.BIANCA SPENDER
One of the most understated collections to show at MBFWA, Bianca Spender’s sophisticated Resort 17 collection did not need to be loud to make its mark.
Spender is known for both her chic designs and personal style, and it appears that this season we saw the real Bianca Spender walk down the runway. Utilising luxury fabrics and feminine silhouettes, Spender presented a cohesive and strong collection of wearable basics interspersed with stand-out gowns and cocktail dresses.
Akira Isogawa is a veteren of MBFWA with two decades worth of experience. His collection this season celebrated Australia's cultural diversity and the relationship this diversity has on modern Australian style.
Being in the business for over 20 years gives Isogawa the rare advantage of being able to reflect back into his archives. This season we saw signature Akira silhouettes on both women and men walking the runway - prints with red polka-dots, a nod to Japanese Shibori techniques and Isogawa’s own Japanese heritage.
For Resort 17, Christopher Esber chose to take his presentation off-site and display his collection in a softly lit yoga studio.
Inspired by the desert and nature’s power, Esber channelled his inspiration into a collection filled with contrasting fabrications - dry natural linen paired with wet-look lycra - and relaxed silhouettes.
Esber also referenced one of his continuing inspirations, Brazil, by including pops of blue and turquoise to represent the pools of Lençóis Maranhenses.
The collection focused on separates, with beautifully cut blouses, loose pants and pencil skirts all meshing into a cohesive, sophisticated and elegant offering from one of Australia’s most promising designers.ROMANCE WAS BORN
The most talked about show of the season was Romance Was Born. Every season design duo Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett create a fanciful, romantic world to display their work. To celebrate their 10th year showing at MBFWA, the Romance team took over Roslyn Oxley’s famed house, Carthona, and created a fantastical 1920’s era set to present their Resort 17 collection.
The “Whispering Angel” collection was inspired by Liberace and his excessive and over-the-top persona. Sequins featured on almost every garment and fringing and feathers were no strangers in this collection. Silhouettes were straight from the 1920’s, as was the hair and makeup, with models sporting soft curls kept close to the head and kewpie doll lipsticked mouths.
Our favourite piece from the collection is a floor-length beaded gown featuring Liberace’s over the top “L”, in red sequins on the left hand shoulder, a sequinned cherub at the waist and Australian parrots at the skirt. A veritable mish-mash of inspiration that only Romance Was Born could execute so beautifully.KIT X
Kit Willow is no stranger to MBFWA however with new venture, Kit X, she is a newcomer. Held in The Reservoir on Oxford Street (conveniently located near Parlour X!) the Kit X runway show was ethereally beautiful and reminiscent of Kit Willow’s origins.
The crowd was serenaded by Connie from Sneaky Sound System singing a beautiful opera aria accompanied by a 4 person orchestra. The Kit X woman that walked the runway was strong and bold, with an added tribal element that was a hit with many.
Founded by restauranteur Maurice Terzini and Lucy Hinckfuss, Ten Pieces is the ultimate in cool-kid dressing and with only ten pieces in the collection, the demand is incredibly high.
This season Ten Pieces collaborated with famed knitwear designer John Macarthur on a collection inspired by the fluid movements created by life and fitness. Layering was in full effect with deconstructed knitwear layered over drop-crotch knit trousers, hoodies, and dresses. The entire collection was in sand dune colours, with varying degrees of beige, grey and black featuring on male and female models.TOME
Designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin have created a contemporary collection with Tome that is known for having both a cult-like following and being ultimately beautiful and wearable.
This season the design duo were inspired by the music of Nina Simone. This inspiration was immediately identifiable with models walking the runway in black knotted headscarves, a different reference to Simone.
Highlights from the collection include Tome’s signature cotton shirting silhouettes re-worked with denim and the bright print that stood-out amongst the mostly black and white collection.OSCAR DE LA RENTA
To close MBFWA this season, Australia welcomed internationally acclaimed fashion house Oscar de la Renta to Carriage Works. With the passing of Oscar in 2014, Peter Copping has taken over the creative direction of the house.
Keeping to the brand’s origins, the Oscar de la Renta Resort 16 runway included signature ballgowns in a colour palette of deep rust, magenta and navy which were then juxtaposed with the cool iciness of grey, turquoise and white.
The traditional bridal gown closed the show and it was a beautiful and fitting end to a fantastic Australian fashion week.