Melbourne Spring Fashion Week runway show 1 review

Situated in Melbourne Town Hall, the atmosphere pre-show for Melbourne’s first Spring Fashion Week show is energetic. Young fashion enthusiast excitedly take to their seats, pry through their impressive good bags and snap photos of everything and anything, dazzled by the flashing lights. Their eagerness is infectious and proves just why public fashion parades are important – people are genuinely excited about fashion.

Despite the few empty front row seats, which end up being filled by lucky back row audience members, keen for an upgrade, the first night of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is an impressive and polished presentation.

Runway professional Simone Kerr opens the show in a crystal print dress by Melbourne based label Arnsdorf. Designer and The Vine blogger Jade Sarita Arnotts’ Opticks collection sets the tone for the night’s focus on construction. Audience members are given the chance to witness Jade’s talent for manipulating stiff neoprene into cocoon like shapes and ability to fashion a heavy paper bag style fabric into a flattering dress with a fascinating up close and personal view.

Draping is another key theme of the night’s show and no other Australian designer seems to have the ornate delicate touch that Gary Begini possesses. From the first sight of Adelaide model Vanessa Milde towering over everyone in a white pant suit, its clear his spring collection adheres to his strength in relaxed tailoring and drape. Cowel draping is used on both the front and back of a dress, fabric is twisted across the body of another and then a coral orange leather jacket appears, adding an unexpected yet welcomed style of structure to the soft pieces; a balancing act that proves Begini is more than just an artist of the drape.

Leather and rawhide also plays a key role for participating designers FlannelDhiniand Lui Hon (presented by Assin), proving to consumers that a relaxed leather jacket or suede panel is the perfect accompaniment for a softly draped jersey dress. Where Flannel and Lui Hon employ a more au natural, Wild Wild West approach, Dhini softens the stiff natural of the fabric with soft draping and feminine shapes.

MATERIALBYPRODUCT also looks to the durable fabric, giving it a feminine touch in the form of cropped trench coats that billow out from the waisted belt to create a full skirt effect. Zig zag cut hems give the tailored pencil skirts and pants a raw edge, while sheer fabric strips and cut outs offset the stiff leather shapes.

Edges were left raw at Alistair Trung’s showing. The collection’s debut look involving a coral choker appears to be literally choking the model, frightening a few in the fashion crowd. Despite the dramatic accessories, Trungs soft fabric folds in moon grey silk, sheer checkerboard print metallic knitted panels creat a tranquil yet edgy vision of fashion inspired by the future and space travel.

At Kawaii the model’s awkwardly prace and twirl, their exaggerated sleeve cut outs billowing in the wind. The interesting sleave style adds skin to what would normally be a very prim and proper long sleeve collared shirt and shirt dress, offering a wearable style to a trans seasonal climate.

On to Alice Euphemia and the boutique’s show brings a slight change of pace from the predominantly sheer draping and raw hide presentation. Sequinned Ellery jackets and embellished Tina Kalivas dresses provide some colour and shine to the mainly muted tones of previous collections. A lot of lustful eyes also focuse on the models feet thanks to the Ellery crystal heel shoe and the spectacular printed over the knee Romance Was Born boots.

Therese Rawsthorne
 is the last designer of the show, summing up the night’s theme of draping, leather, soft tailoring and bold colours. Softly tailored blazers, paper crinkled cotton skirts and a perfect-for-summer violet print provides further evidence of Rawsthorne’s ability to create both an understated yet eye-catching look. A one shouldered draped ruby red dress, a sexy number that I’m sure every woman could see herself wearing this summer, proves the perfect close to the show.