Both on and off the runway a distinctly feminine style of dressing stood out as being a key trend, waists were accentuated by A-line and voluminous 50’s inspired skirts. Waist belts were fairly prolific, as was high low dressing; statement garments pared with t-shirts or even sneakers to give off that much coveted, Parisian, irreverent vibe. Feminine silhouettes constructed in directional, rigid fabrics, particularly neoprene, kept overtly feminine looks fresh and fashion forward. Head to toe neutrals were a stand out on the colour front, with accents of blush toned pinks thrown into many of the runway collections and street style looks. I am already planning on incorporating some girly pastel pinks into my all black wardrobe, maybe just through accessories to start off with.
In the monochrome arena, which is of course, a solid fashion week staple the Lee Matthews show was a real stand out, appealing to my aesthetic of minimalist, ready-to-wear sensibility. A louche, androgynous silhouette was pulled together with thick, wrapped waist belts making looks more feminine and wearable.
On our second day of fashion week adventures we attended the Kate Sylvester show. For wearability and subtlety, I am confident that there would be a covetable option for any shape or sized woman in the collection. Inspired by the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, Sylvester offered up a stunning array of intrinsically feminine pieces in blush tones and silk chiffon which would not have looked out of place on Claire Dane's Juliet. If Leo is more your style, the feminine froth was balanced out with androgynous looks of perfectly cut Pant suits, classic button ups and the stand out accessory of a leather, armour inspired shoulder plate, perhaps a modern answer to the knight in shining armour look.
The New Generation show was easily the highlight of fashion week for me, showcasing up and coming Australian labels. The runway started off with a bang with Miriam Seddiq opening her portion of the show with a voice over of the iconic “We should All be Feminists” speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This set the tone for her empowering and resilient design offerings, which unashamedly celebrated the beauty of the female form. I was so entranced with the show that I didn't get a chance to take any photos, I was captive to the designer’s moment. At risk of sounding cliché, this show literally gave me chills like I’ve never experienced at a fashion show previously. Another surprising highlight of the New Generation show was the Perspex head pieces and accessories of Vanessa Moe which lent her classical evening wear an air of futuristic mysticism.
Another observance while in Sydney, was the difference between Australian and New Zealand style. Leading New Zealand designers are, in my opinion, more androgynous, dark and perhaps even grungy in their approach to design (NOM.D, Zambesi, Taylor, Maaike and Jimmy.D spring to mind), with a general emphasis on oversized silhouettes and the perennial pallete of black, black and probably a little more black thrown in there for good measure. In contrast, our antipodean neighbors seem to have body-conscious dressing instilled in their DNA, Australian designers are seemingly a lot more feminine in their approach and lack our aversion to colour. I personally will continue to prescribe to the New Zealand mode of fashion, but it is interesting to see how different and unique fashion design is to a country, even those close enough geographically. Proving once again, perhaps, that fashion is the ultimate mirror of the times, entwined with the history of a place and constantly inspired by its surrounding environmental context.
Thanks Jess, what an amazing experience you've had. Look forward to seeing your own designs soon. x
We have also enjoyed having a look at the street style taken at MBSFW, if you haven't already check out some images.