Hemlines are creeping up, pops of colours are evolving to blocks and the fake tan is taking up prime position on the vanity – summer is definitely on its way.
Australian fashion is defined by the epic, humid summer and every year, local designers launch an array of whimsical couture with colours that evoke a balmy cocktail party – sunset, azure and margarita.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney is the modern girl’s survival guide on what to wear – and ladies, I got the low-down on the local designers you’ll be lusting over this spring and summer!
Debuting as one of four TAFE students hand-picked to showcase their range at Australian Fashion Week in 2011, Emma Mulholland became a name-to-watch when superstar Kayne West purchased a number of pieces from the collection.
For summer 2013, Emma has created a collection of 80s inspired pop punk pieces, with splashes of neon atop a canvas of black or white. The silhouettes are comfortable and loose, with flowing tops, tight pants and relaxed overalls – great for the hot summer day at the beach. The confident hipster will reminisce over a childhood of tube socks and fluoro schrunchies while donning clashing, fun prints. For the more demure, Emma Mulholland can be worn as a statement piece – a bright, patterned shirt tucked into a pencil skirt for work and worn with cut-off demin for weekends.
A collaboration between two creative minds, Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston, Bec & Bridge launched in 2003 and has since grown to be a fixture on the fashion scene. With a rare ability to combine innovative and inspiring collections with business smarts, Bec & Bridge won the 2010 DHL Scholarship for business acumen and have stockists around the world.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week showcased a sophisticated and modern collection with masculine, structured textures juxtaposed against soft, feminine silks. Using the Coy Fish as a motif throughout, Bec & Bridge has designed the ultimate wardrobe for a corporate – pushing the boundaries with longer length skirts and tailored shorts and moving towards neutral colour palettes with a distinctly Japanese-feel.
Shooting to fame after winning the fourth season of Project Runway Australia in 2012, Melbourne-based Christina Exie creates visual extravagances that consider all elements of the world – including emotion, sound and touch. Almost architectural in her design, Christina Exie manages to balance modern shapes with tailored finishes to create wearable art for the modern woman.
The 2013 Spring/Summer collection has a euphoric, futuristic feel with the stark pairing of black and white – and occasional pops of tangerine and cobalt. Keeping with her minimalistic style, Christina Exie uses patterns sparingly and when she does, she tends to pair it with a block of white or black. Where she has excelled this season, is in the intricate cuts of her pieces, using statement necklines or inserts to create interest. This spring, try adding some of Christina Exie’s cobalt pants to spice up the corporate uniform, or invest in one of the structured crop tops if you dare to bare some skin.
Born in 2007, by best friends Adrian Norris and Edwina Robinson, Aje is the epitome of tough femininity. Taking inspiration from the elements of the Australian coastline, Aje has a strong focus on delivering the most quality fabrics and finishes to each of its pieces, teaming organic fibres with glamorous embellishments for a paradox of old-school sophistication with tribal undertones. Recognised as the Chambord Designers of the Year in 2009 and undertaking a collaboration with High-Street brand, Sportsgirl, Aje is now stocked in 25 boutiques around Australia.
Aje’s 2013 collection combined a fresh, summer palette of powder blue, white, black, ivy and gold and saw girlie bows, modern cut-outs, earthy embellishments and sequins to create their show-stopping pieces. On the must-buy list is a gold or ivy sequinned cocktail dress – the sparkles will compliment your newly developed tan perfectly – and a white blazer with scalloped edging – a fresh addition to the work-drobe (work wardrobe).
Fashion with a conscious, Roopa Pemmaraju is an Australian ready-to-wear line that features Indigenous artworks on hand-woven Indian fabrics. Committed to fair trade and ethical dealings with the artists it employs, Roopa Pemmaraju give royalties from every sale directly back to support the artist’s community.
Ensuring the brand correctly interpret the artist’s intention in their final pieces, Roopa Pemmaraju liaise directly with the artists at every process, and with inspiration taken from the Australian bush and beach landscape, Roopa Pemmaraju delivers intricate, yet earthy designs.
The Spring/Summer collection showcased at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival featured artists from the Warlukurlangu community, with vibrant greens, earthy reds and yellows and embellishments of spring colours – representing our country’s native wildflowers. The silhouette is on-trend, with asymmetrical hemlines and high necklines, yet the materials are incredibly organic and tribal, creating a transfixing collection that is unlike anything else.
For all the runway photos and event coverage visit www.mbffsydney.com.au