On Wednesday the 19th of March Harper’s Bazaar presented a hand-picked collection of designers that can collectively be described as masters of their trade. This notable line up formed one of the standout runways for this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival and was a showcase for sophisticated classics with a decidedly modern tone.
An Indie pop track echoed east coast sounds of the late 60’s as show opener Christopher Esber established his ability to shape a clean silhouette with controlled structure. Winter weight crepes and wool were cut with sheer fabrics and leather to turn on the sex appeal. An earthy palette of midnight blacks and tempered browns were refreshed against mid-tone grey and parchment.
Yeojin Bae’s offering of beautiful and precise tailoring evoked a strong resonance of glamour without being particular to a past era. Pencil shapes in skirts and dresses that finished just below the knee elongated and elevated the female figure while cut away details showed just the right amount of skin. Colour blocking in nude and black framed the feeling of contemporary nostalgia along with inky purples.
Australian born Paris based designer Martin Grant’s style celebrates femininity with the female form. His insights into silhouette were almost architectural as design lines converge to deliver abundant beauty in the shape of body-skimming dresses, high waisted pants and A-line skirts. Romantic influences cascaded throughout the range in the form of a cropped wool coat that demonstrated impeccable craftsmanship. Silk brocade in burnished gold was used as a luxurious embellishment in a range that would rival many of his European contemporaries.
Industry icon Carla Zampatti referenced her heritage in a collection that was diffused with a current interpretation of a 70’s theme. Flared pants in flowing fabrics with complex layered looks were immaculately executed in perfect proportions to provide drama and an escape from winters embrace. Leather and sheer were used in a clever combination proving that opposites attract. Fedoras and knee high boots were the perfect finishing touch to a range with a strong and distinct handwriting.
Finishing honours went to Alex Perry whose intricate lacework and brilliance in combining fabrics confirm his place as an industry leading creative force. A palette of monochrome was beautifully disrupted by pop colours in pale pink and spicy yellow with silver being an unexpected highlight. A sleeveless lace dress with scalloped hem had a mid 60’s elegance that defined one of the strong elements of the collection. Attention to detail alongside luxe finishes made the closing show spectacular and left and enduring impression.