Wednesday 22 February 2017

5 labels you'll be obsessed with after Australia Fashion Week

Sophie Donaldson

Published 20/05/2016 | 10:16

Models pose backstage ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Presents Maticevski show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections at The Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve on May 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Models pose backstage ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Presents Maticevski show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections at The Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve on May 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Models pose against the backdrop of an old sandstone chapel during a fashion show for the label Romance Was Born on the waterfront of Sydney Harbour during Australian Fashion Week
A model walks past the Sydney Opera House during the Manning Cartell show under the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Australian Fashion Week
Models pose for a photographer's picture backstage before the Christopher Esber show at Australian Fashion Week
Dion Lee

In a move set to appease the global fashion pack, and perhaps invite more international coverage, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney showed Resort for the first time ensuring it was running in tandem with the international fashion calendar.

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With Chanel showing a spectacularly produced Resort ’17 collection in Cuba just two weeks ago Sydney had fashion's biggest act to follow; in a slightly more low-key affair, the talented schedule of Antipodean designers did not disappoint.

There were a handful of flashy moments (Bella Hadid flying in for Mischa Collection) but it really was all about the clothes. Asymmetry reigned supreme, with one-shouldered necklines at Tome, Bec and Bridge and Yuxin, diagonal hems striding down the runway at Bianca Spender and Yuxin, whilst the single thigh split was seen at Dion Lee, Karla Spetic and Rebecca Valance.

Fashion’s fixation on the shoulders continues, with collarbones bared at almost every show. Maticevski mastered it with their daring bodices that cut razor sharp across the chest, the garments hovering coquettishly just above the bust and looking as though they might slide right down the body. According to the Aussies, Resort ‘17 is set to be very sunny indeed. From deep ocre, soft yolk and sorbet lemon, yellow in all its varying hues was paired with some of the most striking silhouettes in collections from Dion Lee, Maticevski , Yuxin, Manning Cartel, Rebecca Valance, KITZ and Tome. From promising new labels to established stalwarts of the fashion scene, the highlights were plentiful; read on for our top five collections from MBFW.

Christopher Esber


Christopher Esber has come all undone for Resort. With a scraped back minimalism, his clothing draped organically around the body trailing off in strips of fabric or gently fraying around the edges. The neutral palette of oat, beige and black served as the perfect backdrop to chunky hand wrought knots that were the most ‘done’ aspect to the whole collection.

Romance Was Born


With Liberace as their muse and a decade under their belt, Resort from Romance Was Born was never going to be subtle. Indeed, the aesthetic that Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett have developed over the past ten years has always been extravagant and embellished beyond belief. With echoes of Galliano’s glory days at Dior, models donned a kaleidoscope of patterned and textured clothing featuring rainbow ostrich feathers, decadent ruffles, embroidered birds of paradise and floor length fringing. Romance Was Born is the perfect antidote for an industry that can take itself all too seriously, reminding us to find the joy in dressing up.

Dion Lee

dion lee.jpg  

King of clean cut lines, Dion Lee’s pared back silhouettes were interspersed with flashes of flesh. Hems were high, with mini dresses slashed nearly to the navel. Geometric folds fell open at the shoulder and criss-crossed lacing ran up slits on skirts and sleeves. His demure palette of lavender, cream and navy was elevated with the aforementioned lemon yellow, whipped up into slinky satin gowns that fell carelessly off the shoulder.



Having shown his namesake label at New York Fashion Week in recent years, Toni Maticevski made the move back home and launched Maticevski, a refined vision for the label in 2012. Since then, the brand has developed a cult following with Resort ‘17 undoubtedly his best yet. Fearlessly experimenting with shape, the perfectly proportioned gowns that strode across the room were testament to his finely honed talent for evening wear.

Gargantuan folds and ruffles were balanced against form fitting separates. Crisp white cotton, burnished gold foil and textured marigold satin were a refreshing combination, all offset with futuristic costume jewellery; think heavy gold chokers seething with slender tentacles and intricate neckpieces that dripped chain and jewels down bare backs.

Manning Cartell


Karl may have had Old Havana, but Manning Cartel had the Harbour Bridge. Showing their collection right beneath the sweeping steel arch on the water, with glitter strewn gravel serving as the catwalk, Manning Cartell reminded us why they are the staple of the cool girl wardrobe. The epitome of louche Australian style, the brand showed a mix of ankle grazing silk dresses, some layered over matching trousers, boxy tailored suits with bra tops instead of blouses and bias-cut slinky gowns that clung with a subtlety not often associated with satin.

Mustard was their hue of choice, splashed over a show-stopping strapless cami top that grazed the ground worn with matching lounge trousers, the perfect garb for long, balmy Sydney nights.

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