When I learned I would be attending Afterpay Australian Fashion Week this year, I was pretty excited, and not only because it would be my first time in such close proximity to koala bears.
Over the past couple of years, I'd developed an affinity for Aussie fashion brands like Christopher Esber, Sir the Label, Matteau and St. Agni. They all speak to my longtime appreciation of relaxed, understated-yet-feminine dressing, which, after moving to Los Angeles, veered even more towards the lighter fabrics and breezy silhouettes favored Down Under.
"Australians aren't pretentious," Bondi Born co-founder Dale McCarthy tells me after unveiling the brand's latest colorful, minimalist swim- and resort-wear. "We like more natural things and the more meaningful things in life that are important, so why would you spend three hours getting ready to go to the beach? It's just about being comfortable and relaxed."
While there were exceptions, of course, many of the brands who showed during AAFW embodied this relaxed, less-is-more attitude. Yes, they were showing resort collections, which by nature are more relaxed, but most were not diverging much from their spring and fall aesthetics. And even though many of these collections won't hit stores until the end of the year, I left these shows inspired to style myself similarly at home this spring and summer.
These outfits are designed to take stylish folks from the office (or, nowadays, the home) to dinner or to the beach. There's a simplicity and, relatedly, a versatility to these looks that feels more relevant and appealing than ever — especially as those of us in the Northern Hemisphere start to experience warmer weather.
From Aje to Michael Lo Sordo to Wynn Hamlyn, browse some chill AAFW highlights in the gallery below.
Disclosure: IMG provided travel and accommodations for me to attend and cover Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.