DAY four of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week wasn’t as packed full of shows as the previous days, but it was certainly packed full of talent. Jamie-Maree Shipton has the low down.
The day kicked off with the much anticipated The Innovators show.
I was lucky enough to be invited backstage prior to the event, and I must say, the six featured designers from the Tafe NSW Sydney Institute’s The Fashion Studio, are the bright new Australian fashion stars. I won’t be saying too much about them in this post, since we’ll be featuring them later.
My second show of the day was Pheonix Keating.
Known for his dramatics, and famous clients (Lady Gag), Pheonix Keating’s debut MBFWA showcase, Huminoid delivered above and beyond. The show, which was half catwalk, half presentation, was as awe inspiring as any show-goer could hope for.
Upon walking into the show’s location, I was met with a dark space , with light illuminating towering models perched atop display boxes, and in the centre of their circle formation stood a large windmill. The atmosphere felt something reminiscent of a modern western.
The show was styled to perfection. The looks were accentuated by what I like to call hardwear – big metal jewellery and belts, and extremely long false nails. As the models disembarked their platforms and walked around the room solo, you got a glimpse of signature Keating – clothes that were theatrical and powerful. It was a futuristic, western frenzy. High shine silver foil-like materials paired with suede brown fringing, tweed tailoring mixed with mesh details, large rolled hair styles paired with over-the-top makeup.
It was definitely a one-of-a-kind show, and some of the other reporters even dared say they would have shed a tear had they not been surrounded by others!
Although a last minute addition to the MBFWA schedule, Emma Mulholland quickly become the most anticipated show of the week, with some 50 people turned away at the door and others loitering outside in the hopes of getting at least a glimpse of the show.
Mulholland’s collections have grown enormously in popularity, and very quickly, even gaining the interest of artist Kanye West on a visit to Melbourne in 2011. So inevitably, for lack of a better phrase, her collections are one of a kind. And this collection again true to Mulholland’s aesthetic of being anything but mainstream.
Inspired by resort life and the eighties jet-set, the collection of mens and women’s clothing and accessories was an offering of neon, sequin futuristic extravaganza. The models sported faux fringes and long pony tail hair pieces in bright colours, and even had images of whales, dolphins and palm trees spray painted onto them.
The scribble crayon-style print and matching tracksuit pieces in outrageous colours – neon blue leopard print for example, harked back to 80’s popular trends and culture.
Surf and ski culture also played a part in the design process as models wore wetsuits underneath their clothes, oakley ski googles on their heads and backpacks with shark fins secured with leg ropes to the models ankles. The ability to blend two otherwise contradictory motifs – the killer whale and snowflake motifs in this case into the one collection, is a talent Mulholland is known for.
Popular pieces from the collection are no doubt the staples of the moment – overalls and bomber jackets. My favourite piece was the holographic sleeved bomber with a digital whale print on the front.
The accessories were also a highlight – neon perspex plastic in star-shaped bangles and chokers. More was definitely more in this case.
Overall the vibe I got from the collection was a mashup of electric, futuristic sea/cyber punk, and the models definitely shredded the catwalk.
Space-age grunge and floaty, feminine florals collided in Shakuhachi’s MBFWA show Cyber-Barberella.
The pumping soundtrack to the show was befittingly “Your mission Barbarella: find Durand-Durand” by The President (Barbarella, 1968).
This season’s muse was a brazen dystopian bombshell-Barbarella, living in a fantastical floral fairytale. The diverging ideals clash so seemlessly in perfect harmony that the collection takes you on a whimsical journey through time and space and back again.
Spacesuit-like construction was fused with wistful prints and girlish silhouettes. Bomber jackets coated in a metallic sheen were paired with playful floral camisoles, and punctuated with aluminium backpacks and perspex hightops. Figure-hugging sweetheart PU bustiers acted as the model’s cosmic-armour, foil-like fabric as some kind of extreme heat protector and iridescent sequins and pearlescent fabric a futuristic colour palette.
The exaggerated proportions and angular shapes of the cap sleeves and sharp edges of peplums and skirt hems were juxtaposed with ready-to-wear sportswear pieces with mesh detailing and dreamy mashed up floral prints.
White on white looks were fresh and sleek, metallic high shine fabrics worn one on top of the other in blues, greens and pinks emphasised the matchy-matchy trend, and sweat headbands adorned in sequins matched perfectly to the models glittered eyelids creating true space-age glamazons.
Shakuhachi offered a haute galactic voyage through a colliding cosmos, and is an ode to the modern-day super-girl and I loved every minute of it.