The madness doesn’t really kick off until April 30, but the off-site shows have already begun. Freeing up a space in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia’s official schedule yesterday were Bridget McCall and Nicholas van Messner of LIFEwithBIRD. The Melbourne-based label celebrated its 10th anniversary with an intimate show in the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room, revealing their Summer 2012/13 collection against the slightly overcast backdrop of the Sydney Harbour.
But there was nothing dreary about the clothes, which were LIFEwithBIRD through and through. ‘The Distance Between’ was, interpreting the press release, a reflection on the brand’s journey to date, and that journey has been a pretty undeviating one if you can say that in forward-thinking fashion land without it coming across as a backhanded compliment. LIFEwithBIRD knows its customer, and its customer wants breezy minimalism swathed in mesmerising digital prints.
This time around, those prints paid homage to a side of Australiana so often overshadowed by things like Rodarte’s awkward hand-print reference to Aboriginal culture. Liquid silk singlets and trousers depicted digitised splatters of salty sea spray and the shadows of rugged cliff faces, all done in pretty hues of peach and aqua blue. Pieces that didn’t get the digital treatment instead came in deep navy blue and amped-up pastels.
It would be easy to stick with matching those dreamy prints with the kind of silhouettes that have fashion writers racking their brains for alternatives to ‘floaty’, ‘flirty’, and ‘flowing’, but luckily there was plenty here to save us from doing so. Structural mini dresses saw luxurious jacquard peppered with intricate cut-outs and bodycon dresses leaned toward athleticism, to an almost futuristic effect. A few more of them wouldn’t have gone amiss but then there would be no room for the silky separates and draped jackets that LIFEwithBIRD do so well, and that would be a very sad thing indeed.
Images via Fashionising