• Anne Heaney, Director

Designers resort to sparkly looks as MBFWA affirms itself as a trans-seasonal buying destination.

In May Sydney hosted Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Resort 2019 collections, the premiere event that kicks off the global Resort buying season. In 2017 MBFWA made the significant decision to change the showing season from S/S collections to Resort collections which increased business opportunities for designers as it now coincides with the beginning of the international sales window given for Resort collections.

Unsurprisingly the shift is resulting in a new mood and aesthetic being showcased in Australia each May. This year many designers showed looks that delighted with ruffles, sparkles, sequins and grommets popular embellishments. The overall looks were exciting and dressy, focussing more on occasion-wear and leaving audiences in the mood to party!

Moving on from the ‘norm core’ looks we saw trending for several years, 90’s trends are influencing and party looks prevailing. Despite the potential for these trends to inspire extreme looks, most collections were commercial and instantly wearable – fitting the see-now-shop-now sales model.

Sheers and Sparkles

The trend for sheers and layering continues with beautiful examples at the Akira, Lee Mathews, Alice McCall, and MacGraw shows. The light fabrications also lend themselves well to the long silhouettes that continue to trend for Womenswear.

Shine and sparkles adorned many garments, contributing to the celebratory vibe. Still Still Studio didn’t hold back with sequins, beads and diamantes adorning whole garments, shoes and accessories.

Pastel palettes remained prevalent working quite nicely with the trend of sheers and ruffle layering. One of the strongest colour trends were the shades of aqua and turquoise that featured in a number of designer collections. Lilac was also popular with designers such as Thomas Puttick and We Are Kindred.

Celebrating 15 years, CAMILLA AND MARC runway setting was bold and out of this world, however the palette they chose was much more grounded and earth inspired featuring browns, ochre, cream, and a variety of green shades.

Bold accessories were also a feature across the week, which is good news for accessories brands. Large earrings, oversized hats and exaggerated bags were some of the examples seen at CAMILLA AND MARC and We Are Kindred.

Checks and Florals

Prints and patterns were dominated by florals and checks. The freshest updates were large scale checks and plaids seen in pale colour combinations providing longevity for this pattern trend. Some key examples were Acler, Hansen & Gretel, Roopa, and CAMILLA AND MARC. Variations on gingham indicated that this pattern remains popular and works especially well for resort wear.

Active directions

Some of Australia’s most popular active brands took to the runway in the highly commercial ACTIVE showcase including P.E Nation, Koral, Jasmine Alexa, and B.O.D BY FINCH.

Key activewear items that look to remain a staple included bomber jackets, colour blocked leggings, branded elastics, luxe track pants and women’s crop tops with strap and cross-over features. Consistent with the 90’s trend influence, P.E Nations Menswear debut included cargo pants with zips at the knee which converts the item in to shorts.

Australia’s next generation

A highlight of the week was seeing the next generation of Australian talent emerging. The runway shows St George Next Gen, FDS: The Innovators and Raffles International Showcase all gave new graduates from Australia’s top design institutes the opportunity to showcase their design skills and refreshing aesthetics. Some items were more experimental and less on the commercial side, however the talent coming through was evident.

It is exciting that MBFWA’s move to showcasing Resort wear opens up the opportunities for both established and emerging brands to showcase their invigorating and uniquely Australian aesthetic to the world.

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