Celebrating Melbourne’s status as an iconic fashion city, Designer Runway 3 wasn’t short of spectacular. While the outside temperature reflected the usual 4-seasons-in-a-day Melbourne weather, the showcased collections certainly made us want to ditch our winter threads and start trotting out our best spring looks on our way to appointments, the office, and, yes, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
The night took us on a journey to Asia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe, back in time, when Woodstock celebrated the female independence and freedom, the 80’s Neon Punk Rock witnessed the birth of the gym junkie sporty chic, and 90’s strong tailoring empowered the female role in the work place. Christine, Akira Isogawa, Arthur Galan AG, Alexi Freeman, Calibre, Megan Park, Nevenka, Thurley & Yeojin Bae, celebrated the spring referencing some of the most historically significant decades, with their individual and unique signature aesthetic.
Akira stayed true to his heritage, highlighting timeless beauty with his kimono-inspired handmade prints in shades of purple, blush pink, and orange married with embroideries and easy tailoring. Using his signature and traditional Japanese textile manipulation, shibori knot, took us to new levels, when the runway transcended into a Japanese garden filled with cherry blossom trees and beautiful geishas. The only thing missing were the oilpaper umbrellas. The shibori knotted patchwork kimono dresses brought to a bold and uplifting chrysanthemum print in red and black, simple blouses with narrow sleeves and A-line skirts with cummerbund waist complemented by thick-brick open-toed platforms oozed chic and effortless dressing. The curl-neck panelled dresses in lightweight silk crepe with subtly hand painted batik gardens of pale pinks and ivory and delicate hand embroidery celebrated the female form in true style.
Akira’s collection was powerfully juxtaposed by Yeoin Bae’s edgy elegance and razor sharp tailoring that reflects fashion at its chicest. Referencing the working woman of the early 90’s, her simple yet strong and sexy impeccably tailored dresses for working women who is not afraid to make a statement enjoying her femininity using a subtle sex appeal were cleverly offset by a play on colour. Bold pinks, reds, and black and white combinations cleverly played into the simple silhouettes of the luxuriously fabricated dresses for a finishing touch of true elegance. This designer knows her women and is not afraid to show it.
Eastern-European embroideries and embellishments from her travels and family heirlooms were the inspiration for Navenka’s Spring collection. Taking us back to Eastern Europe on a walk through a spring meadow, the entirely white and off-white collection was intricately crafted with utmost detail given to the strategically placed cut-out and embroidery technique. The airy yet earthy feel of bohemian chic has instilled Navenka’s quiet confidence as a force to be reckoned with.
Another collection referenced by a destination was delivered by Thurley. Inspired by 24-hours in the imperial city of Marrakech, the collection follows the phases of the sun as it rises and sets on the enchanted city, and the rich colour spectrum it unveils. The journey begins in a colourless night; darkness fades as dawn breaks to reveal a city bathed in cool neutral pure light, which slowly melts away to expose Marrakech in all her mystique: a myriad of exotic hothouse colours. The collection had a foundation of structural shapes and sharp lines, inspired by the imperial architecture of the ancient city. The architectural concept has also informed honeycomb fabric embroideries, geometric jacquards, lace, and mosaic prints.
The highlight of the Designer Runway 3 was Christine Accessories. Renowned for her eclectic mix of awesome, Christine Barro, speaks ‘language of fashion’ oh-so-fluently. Showcasing her latest and hottest accessories picks, we literally fell down the rabbit hole, straight into the land of magic as Alice in Wonderland. The exquisite selection of chandelier necklaces and bunny-ear hats, mixed with heavy-metal rope-like chain necklaces and larger-than-life hats were a true recognition of style and fashion at its best.
And now it’s definitely time to buckle down and face the new season in the designers’ most covetable pieces. If none of these have taken your fancy then stay tuned, we will bring you the rest of the Designer Runway reports shortly.