For the first time, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Australia is focusing on Resort collections, and we're Down Under to bring you all the best of Aussie fashion. From New York favorites making a homecoming to brand new designers making their mark, Sydney has got plenty to offer.
Designer Karla Špetić has been in business since 2008, turning out clean, tailored pieces that feature crisp lines and the occasional graphic element. For Resort 2017, Špetić showed a collection of whites, lilacs and navys that felt perfectly fresh for a holiday. While dresses with oversized beach photos framed by ruffled organza felt like lazy versions of Dolce & Gabbana's postcard dresses, the ribbed knit dresses with cutouts at the side are just what we want to wear to the office on a sunny spring day. Oh, and those Tevas you bought in the summer of 2014? They're still really cool.
A collection in only black and white could be incredibly boring, but By Johnny managed to avoid that pitfall by layering in loads of interesting cuts, patterns and at the end, flashes of pleated lamé. Some looks skewed sexy with cutouts and thigh-high slits, while others stayed on the sweet side with polka dots and ruffles. But no matter how you slice it, By Johnny is super wearable.
Christopher Esber is one of Australia's most exciting talents, and it's not hard to see why: With a background in menswear tailoring and an interest in fabric development, his was the most interesting collection we've seen in Sydney thus far. A hot yoga studio set the scene for his desert-inspired collection, filled with bone-colored linens and delicately netted pieces dotted with blue Swarovski crystals.
Any designer who can make nude Lycra look cool is destined to go far — and Esber did just that on a breezy-but-structured black and white dress with ruffled sleeves.
Japanese-born Akira Isogawa is one of Australia's most established designers. Melding the more traditional elements of his native country with a laid-back Aussie attitude leads to layers of light, flowing fabrics with structured elements like an obi-style belt or sharp blazer necklines. A few looks were layered over sheer tops covered in floral arrangements made entirely from sequins, like chic fashion barnacles.
The jaw-dropping finale look was comprised of blood-red flowing pants and a matching tunic, topped with piles of those ornate floral elements. It was a wonderful surprise after a show filled with neutrals.
It was all about the space where masculine meets feminine at Bianca Spender, who mixed ruffles with menswear-inspired tailoring for Resort 2017. It wasn't always successful — and, with a color palette that was all over the place, not always cohesive either — but when it worked, it was fun. One tailored shirt revealed a cropped cut at the back with piles of ruffles, while another look brought the currently-trendy overalls to the office.
Disclosure: IMG provided my travel and accommodations to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.