Australian Fashion Week Wraps Up: The Best of the Old Guard and Labels to Watch

Yeah, so a few heavy hitters were absent from the schedule at Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week Australia (MBAFW) this year, but that doesn’t me
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Yeah, so a few heavy hitters were absent from the schedule at Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week Australia (MBAFW) this year, but that doesn’t me
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Yeah, so a few heavy hitters were absent from the schedule at Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week Australia (MBAFW) this year, but that doesn’t mean runways were lacking. Here’s a quick rundown of some spring/summer 2012 standouts, both established and new.

L-R: Zimmermann, Ellery, Ksubi (Photos: Getty)

L-R: Zimmermann, Ellery, Ksubi (Photos: Getty)

INDUSTRY ALL-STARS: These labels continue to put their own stamp on Australian fashion’s signature brand of cool.

Zimmermann This year, the Zimmermann girl channeled her inner Lolita. Think sugar-coated sexpot complete with bows in the hair and plenty of skin. Florals and a pastel palette were ultra girly, while bomber jackets and laser cuts kept the feel sporty and modern. With a brand new flagship store in Soho and one opened last year in LA, the label continues to be an ambassador for the country’s seductive, never-ending summer vibe.

Ellery In many ways, this collection was consistent with Ellery’s avant-garde eye. There was plenty of structure, as well as varied proportions like the exaggerated, round shoulders that appeared more than once. The biggest departure was a more diverse color palette (including green, cranberry, fuchsia and metallic) and the introduction of heavy, asymmetrical draping. Needless to say, whatever color or shape the Ellery girl is wearing, she demands all eyes when she walks into a room.

Ksubi After a few quiet years, Ksubi’s lastest collections have reminded us that they are truly the original exporter of playfully grungy, Aussie style. There was plenty on offer for the downtown girl with laidback denim parkas layered over barely-there shorts, metallic track pants paired with miles of midriff, and a bit of black leather for after hours. Even the sleek LBD had the Ksubi touch with a shirt thrown around the waist -- or maybe it was the fact that it was modeled by designer Dan Single’s babin’ girlfriend Bambi Northwood-Blyth, either way.

L-R: Watson x Watson, Kahlo, Aje (Photos: Getty)

L-R: Watson x Watson, Kahlo, Aje (Photos: Getty)

IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW, NOW YOU KNOW: This isn’t the last you’ll be hearing about these MBAFW first-timers, so take note!

Watson x Watson Barely over a year old, this label became an instant hit with the fashion crowd. Think laidback glamour in the school of Isabel Marant. The collection had it all from sporty anoraks to body-con minis. The stand out was a zigzagged, multicolored fur jacket effortlessly paired with a tee and leather skinnies.

Kahlo The label’s third collection has established them as a go-to for sleek, minimal pieces that aren’t lacking in design. The pared back runway debut featured buttery thin leather shirts, shifts and shorts, as well as softly tailored silk pieces including a covetable mustard playsuit.

Aje The fact that this glam range (there was no shortage of heavy-handed sequins, embellishment and short hemlines) was styled back with biker boots is exactly what this label is all about. Launched a few years ago by two childhood friends, Aje already has fans in Kate Moss and Rachel Zoe.