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Friday, May 7, 2010

Day four and five RAFW

There is no excuse for this extra delayed blogging except that exhaustion caught up with me and the after parties stole me away into the early hours this morning, so here it is, better late than never, the highlights from the last two days of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week.

Yesterday dawned as a beautiful day, nothing at all like the threatening vision of the Apocalypse that has been so present in the cinemas over the last year and Kirrily Johnston’s collection Apocolypto, despite its name was nothing like that either. Her vision for the future was not one where the modern world as we know it is thrown into devastation and chaos, but where humanity returns to its modest naturalistic origins and the compelling aesthetics of the collection made that future far from terrifying, it was enticing.
Since her first collection stripes have been a signature element of the Kirrily Johnson look, along with knitwear and draping and all three were present yesterday in all their glory. They were spliced with two other tribal prints and accessorised with tribal printed armbands and towering turbans that completed the Apocolypto vision. The tribal feel was apparent from head to two and layered back with her new line of KJ basics. Kirrily's show was relevant in reference and outstanding in aesthetic.

The next show, that cannot go without a mention, was the TAFE show that unveils the fresh talents of the industry every year. Each designer showed great potential across a broad range of styles from tribal to overt tailoring. Elliot Ward Fear was undoubtedly a standout with his conceptual broad shouldered and voluminous shapes. His daring proportions were also worthy of mention because of the dizzying height of his wedge heels, which almost had half the models on their knees and managed to succeed in derailing a few completely. The audience was literally holding their breath waiting for disaster to strike and I swear I could actually hear the sighs of relief every time a model returned backstage safely, but then what does fashion exist for if not to take a risk and push the boundaries.

Next was Gary Bigeni, whose collection was not exactly boundary breaking, but noteworthy nonetheless. It was clean, smart and simple tailoring and draping completed with his signature circular hemmes and seamless sewing that means there is in fact no visible lines or boundaries in his garments to be pushed.

Dhini's show in the afternoon delivered one of my favourite prints of the week, it was graphic and geometric all at once and was striking emblazoned on leggings and sheer shirts and dresses throughout the show, enhancing the softly draped and tailored pieces that composed the rest of the collection. 

Saint Augustine Academy was pristine punk, juxtaposing traditional suiting and rambunctious rock aesthetics to create a new smart street style with attitude.
Michael Lo Sordo followed with a collection that was anything but hard rock, instead it was romantic, clean and crisp, with a dynamic print in a vibrant array of summer colours. The collection was one of the most cohesive classically contemporary collections of the week.

Fernando Frisoni started the evening off late but in stellar style. My favourite thing about this collection was the strong colour blocked structural layers in opposing pinks and reds. Models came out in quick succession, which was nearly enough to put the night back on schedule, but not quite, it did however; personify the strength of his garments. The Frisoni girls and boys were nonchalantly sophisticated and fearless in their layered style statements.

The final show of the evening was Gail Sorronda, a personal favourite of mine, (I've been sporting her divinely dark form of textile romance all week,) she is such a favourite that I am not even going to mention her any further in this blog because I just don't feel I could do her justice in one paragraph so stay tuned for the full blog on her SS1011 collection Murmur next week. 

And so that brings us to Friday, the fifth and final day of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2010. My day began with the debut solo collection of a Le Black Book favourite designer, Miss Unkon. The Brisbane turned Sydney based designer, Courtney Meyer, did not disappoint when it came to her penchant for girlie romance so of course I loved loved loved her collection, A Journey of Young Love. Frills, and lingerie style pieces were a dominant feature in soft sumptuous fabrics. Dresses ranged from short and sweet to long and lavish in a colour palette reminiscent of the creamy pastel icing on cupcakes and the whole look combined was so sweet you could almost taste the icing, not just visualize it. Miss Unkon was dreamy, innocent and charming and as unforgettable and irreplaceable in it's style as the emotional experience of young love. 

The New Generation show, where Courtney made her RAFW debut last year, produced another few gems this year namely Garth Cook and Flowers for a Vagabond, whose collections were both dark and conceptual. These two are both definitely worth watching.

My final mention for the week is Annah Stretton, whose collection had a strong underlying message about animal cruelty that was communicated through Annah's contemporary take on the style of her moral and aesthetic muse, Brigitte Bardot. For my full interview with Annah about the message sewn into the garments head to Tangent.

So there it is another fashion week over and my verdict is in. The week was an eclectic representation of Australian style. Each collection had its own gems and if you plucked them all out and combined them you would have a very fine wardrobe indeed. Romantic tailoring, dark and detailed, structural and sleek, printed and punchy, splice them and combine them however you want to, the runways, after all, are where the trends emerge, but style is what happens in the wings after the lights have gone down and the communal buzz is silenced by individual interpretation and fearless flights of everyday imagination.

My imagination is certainly a buzz with them now so keep your eyes peeled for what eventuates over the coming months, but for now I am resting my weary eyes ready for another day of fashion frantic work tomorrow before my Sunday Sabbath of peace.
So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night


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