AFTERPAY AUSTRALIAN FASHION WEEK:
Top Tier Tailoring, Slinky Sheath Dresses and Molten Metallics Ruled the Roost Down Under.
Image Credit Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW), AAFW on Instagram and Designers’ Own Websites and Designers’ Instagram, Vogue and Getty Images.
The third week of May rocked Down Under – fashion-wise that is. A whopping 45 designer shows graced the runways in Sydney, strutting their stuff across various venues in the city. In parallel there was a host of presentations, talks, discussion forums and of course the other stars of the shows – the designers, models, photographers, stylists and the fabulous dressed-to-the-hilt front-row fashionistas and celebrities.
Twelve designers of indigenous heritage also showed this time. The focus was, as was at most of the global fashion weeks we’ve witnessed over the past few years, very much on sustainability within fashion and many designers celebrated recycling and upcycling, with some even extolling the virtues of deliberately altering the look of a designer piece in due course: cut a long dress shorter, add a collar and lose a sleeve, and voila, one has created a brand new frock! Advice that would’ve made the late Dame Vivienne Westwood very happy indeed.
As for trends, we saw plenty tailoring and suiting across the board – these pieces were less traditional-looking than usual (cropped tailored jackets belted in the waist, for example) – all very avant-garde! Double denim was another look spotted in various places and so was the trend for slinky, pin-thin strappy pieces, often with cutouts and constructed from satin or draped jersey fabrics. Metallics, often in miniscule garments (micro minis and teensy-weensy tops, for example) gave a wonderfully nostalgic 60s feel to pieces.
We invite you to sit back and enjoy our hand-picked selection of designers and trends as spotted in Sydney.
1. Let’s Kick Off with Riotous Colour!
IORDANES SPYRIDON GOGOS
“Wearables for the imaginative” was founded by Jordan Gogos in 2019 and boy oh boy was the Resort 2024 show a tribute to otherworldly psychedelia! Forty pieces – all unique and crafted – were more of a display of visual art than fashion. Bold, vibrant and bespoke, each piece celebrated the wonders of super tactile texture and magical embellishments. Mystical characters – warriors, vamps and sirens – all vied for attention in a collection that was so stimulating it was almost impossible to take it all in. We adore the intensity of the offering, it’s total and utter escapism and pure fashion theatre on steroids!
This eclectic mix of crafty, collectible creations come from a brand who has been around for 20 years, and who thrives on incorporating artisanal techniques and natural and organic fibres such as hemp, linen, ramie and cotton into their exquisite offerings each season. Magical and exotic, each piece is a celebration of exquisite textiles, inspired patterns, wonderous prints and bohemian embellishments. Exaggerated puff sleeve dresses, patchwork fairy-tale dresses, smocked prairie dresses, kimonos and fringed maxi tunics were included in an offering that was second to none.
Memories of summers past inspired Verner’s delicious collection of stripes, spots, sun and wave motifs on their surface textiles. Frills, corsetry and drapes come together in satin and jersey, in close-cut, inspired print-on-print ensembles to create a collection that is vibrant and super summery.
IKUNTJI Artists, a prominent Aboriginal art centre located in a remote community in Central Australia presented their very first show at Australia Fashion Week, and what a feat it was! Traditional Aboriginal art and design patterns depicting ancient landscapes and traditional forms embellished these contemporary styles.
2. It’s All About the Body: Slinky Metallics, Peep-Show Cut-Outs and Bodycon Drapery
MICHAEL LO SORDO
Sleek silk and satin dresses, rhinestone-encrusted tunics and slinky metallic tank top mini dresses form part of a collection that oozes with luxe quality and sexy elegance. These pieces are minimalist, razor-sharp and memorable – and they take no space in one’s getaway luggage!
Pearl, oyster and shell shades evoke a seaside daydream at Albus Lumen. Quilted jackets in seaside motifs, pearl embroidery, slinky one-shoulder dresses and draped jersey evoke the ultimate resort moments in a collection that is just beautifully crafted and oh so covetable.
Fantasy, theatrical ensembles to dance in! These are vampish pieces: fluid, tactile, sinuous, razor-sharp and sculptural. Exquisitely crafted, these are creations for the confident individual.
Karla Spetic’s pearly pastel creations with their pin-thin straps and strategic cut-outs are very feminine and romantic. Fluid, oversized tailoring rubbed shoulders with transparent tunics in a collection that’s super wearable.
Watch Karla Spetic’s show here.
Fabulous tailoring in sandy desert tones – mushroom, ocean blue and black – was part and parcel of a collection of asymmetrical, body-hugging, flowing satin ensembles. Bianca Spender, a stalwart designer with 30 collections under her belt, created a collection full of exquisite suiting, sensuous, slippery satin dresses and bias-cut skirts. This is a resort collection that oozes sophistication and luxe, and one can picture each of these pieces sitting very comfortably in your own wardrobe – and not necessarily just waiting on a holiday!
Bold and bright, sleek and sculptural – this stalwart brand delivered a sexy and flattering resort collection in satin, jersey and metallics, full of pin thin straps, cutouts and other quirky little surprises. There was more than a dollop of neon, sparkle and shimmer, and Cue gave a resounding thumbs-up to the art of impeccable tailoring.
Watch Cue’s show here.
3. Time for Theatre! Bring on the Tulle, Lace and Organza.
Ethereal, otherworldly and gothic, Gail Sorronda’s range for Australia Fashion Week takes one’s breath away. It’s deliciously sculptural, with extraordinary tactile elements. It’s a place where Goth meets Punk meets Alien! Just divine.
We absolutely adore the vintage feel of these frocks in metallic-embellished tulle. Polka dots, red patent leather shoes, red stockings and even red knickers – what more can a (vintage) girl ask for?
Watch Macgraw’s show here.
4. Earn Your Stripes!
Alix Higgins’s second collection delivered a whole host of surface design magic: fabulous digital prints (a stretched horizon, wolf fur close-up and stripes, amongst others). Some items were evidently upcycled, like the polo shirts that became evening gowns. We adore the combination of ‘fur’ prints with traditional stripes in some of the ensembles. The gender-neutral jersey pieces are particularly covetable.
Watch Alex Higgins’ show here.
5. Double Denim Does it
This collection marked the 15-year anniversary for the brand, a collection full of relaxed but supremely elegant pieces, like the silk trench coat, the frilly silk dresses and the super cool double denim ensembles.