The L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival is an annual celebration of fashion, beauty, business, and creative endeavor for everyone to enjoy. As an increasing number of designers choose this, rather than Mercedes-Benz Australia Fashion Week, to showcase their collections, it enjoys no shortage of talent. Here are the five designers that caught our eye this season, from young graduates to catwalk icons.
Australia’s most glittery, glamorous designer continued his catwalk reign with an opulent collection of magnificent gowns. Perry remained true to his sophisticated aesthetic, yet kept things youthful with flowing peach chiffon and bold embellishments that often started on bodices and continued over mesh sleeves like an elegant version of body glitter. Bonus points for pinning them on the country’s most exquisite models.
Esber took out the National Designer Award at this year’s festival, but that’s not why he’s on this list. It’s because he makes some of the most covetable clothing this side of the Equator, characterized by minimalist design, meticulous tailoring and luxurious fabrics. Previous National Designer winners have included Dion Lee, Romance was Born and Josh Goot, and the labels he beat out to claim the prize are almost just as revered.
Natalia Grzybowski’s ‘Hybrid’ collection was part of LMFF’s National Graduate Showcase, which brings 12 of the country’s top fashion graduates from the classroom to the bright lights of the runway. ‘Hybrid’ was always going to be one to watch, and you’d certainly have trouble not watching when confronted with such stunning shapes and prints. Incorporating painterly florals onto sheer silks and structured neoprene, this wasn’t just a stand out of the evening but of the entire festival.
Say what you will about the fried hair with greasy roots, no one will care if your clothes look this good. Melbourne designer Jolet Ucchino’s models were the height of polished cool in refined silhouettes and mesmerizing cityscape digital prints, topped off with reflective shades. With a background in graphic design, Jolet’s prints are impressed upon various fabrics and styles and have become a signature of the label, working to define the mood of each collection.
When you’re the daughter of Australian fashion royalty Carla Zampatti, how can you not have an ingrained sense of what looks amazing? Or maybe Spender’s success is due to her foregoing the world of fashion to study commerce before realizing, one degree later, that fashion was where she belonged. It’s only been two years since she dropped the “for Carla Zampatti” from the end of her label’s name, but already she’s known for strong garments that fuse structure and fluidity. Spender’s LMFF collection might be her strongest to date, a boldly colorful mix of 80s power suiting and almost mathematically precise drapery.