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.
There's not much that would get the fashion crowd out of bed and at a show by 7:30 a.m., but Camilla Franks managed to do it. Sure, maybe it was the beautiful boat ride around the most scenic part of Sydney Harbor — complete with cocktails, coffee, breakfast and shirtless Aussie men — with Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge providing the backdrop to the show.
But it could also have been the caftans that have built Franks a loyal fan base, including none other than Oprah. Still, Camilla the brand is so much more than caftans: from brightly colored bikinis to perfectly printed surfboards and just about everything in between, Camilla was made for the resort season. She found inspiration for 2017 on a trip to Africa, which might have raised more than a few eyebrows stateside. On a boat in Sydney Harbor, though, her fun, beach-ready prints raised nothing but several rounds of applause.
We Are Handsome
Are you ready for high-cut swimwear to be on trend again? We Are Handsome is banking that it will be the latest '90s classic to make a comeback, having featured it prominently in their throwback-themed runway show for resort 2017. Pops of teal and hot pink, cyber-punk prints and gold high-top sneakers dominated the collection of active and swimwear. Sure, it was all a little one-note — and a lot over-the-top — but for a brand that built a cult-following on their printed swimwear, this is bound to find a home in the closets of lithe Internet girls everywhere.
Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning, two Aussie fashion vets, launched P.E. Nation to provide athleisure that's as on-trend as it is utilitarian. It's inspired by (surprise) the '90s, and the resort 2017 collection includes plenty of nods to basketball culture and bright color blocking. It might seem like just another activewear line, but whether you're hitting the court or the street style scene, there was plenty in this collection to covet.
Cynthia Rowley is decidedly not an Australian designer. But with her own personal passion for surfing and reputation for making chic activewear and rash guards, Rowley is perhaps the American designer who makes the most sense in the Australian fashion scene.
For resort 2017, Rowley opened the runway with plenty of day looks, which included tunic dresses and light knit sweaters perfect for layering on the beach. But this being a Sydney show, it was the swim that stole the show — and not just because a couple of models were carried down the runway by buff male models bearing surfboards. Rowley's prints elevate surf gear and water shoes to an entirely different style level, especially rendered in delicate florals.
The concept of Ten Pieces, an activewear brand designed by Maurice Terzini and Lucy Hinckfuss, is a little lofty. It's about simplicity, the importance of having a few key pieces — oh, let's say, 10? — and the value of mixing, matching and layering. The show opened with a short film and then featured a very short runway with (no points for guessing!) 10 looks. It was essentially a higher quality, condensed version of Yeezy — and all things considered, that's a good thing.
Disclosure: IMG provided my travel and accommodations to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.