New location, new lineup, new (enough) name: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia cemented its new start by looking back. Camilla and Marc's runway opened the official schedule with a celebration of the label's ten years in the biz. Their 'Concentric' collection keeps a keen eye on their most popular archival designs with sporty lines, asymmetrical hemlines, black lace and gold brocade taking centre stage. Meanwhile, the sibling designers apparently also took on their family matriarchs and Russian dolls as muses this season. Speaking of dolls, Barbie is being exclusively dressed by Camilla and Marc during her Dreamhouse-hunting trip to Australia, including a stop to sit front row at MBFWA.
It's not hard to see why White Sands' Leah Madden entitled her latest swim collection 'The Honeymoon'. A seasonal pale rose print could wallpaper the matrimonial suite in an Elvis-era hotel. Suggesting the strong appearance of frills and block pastel hues of lemon and mint in the range are a good stand-in for bridesmaid dresses might be a bit of a stretch. But we're not imagining the lingerie references saved until the knot is well and truly tied. White Sands takes on this underwear-as-outerwear trend via allusions to garter belts and corsetry in basic black.
While hemlines were (mostly) down at By Johnny, the young designer's print quotient was up. The former saw flouncy skirts fall to just below the knee on the lofty models (so probably a demure midi-length on mere mortals). The latter came in varied forms; striped, lace, geometric and neo-tribal prints all had a run. When not simply acting as a canvas for Johnny Schembri's way with patterns, pieces were spliced in block colours running curvaceously down the body.
Perennial fashion week favourite Romance Was Born capped off a long first day with a good dose of their expected eccentricity in near-indescribable style. But let's at least try to go on Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett's trip with them shall we? First, there was the staging; apparently the Easter Bunny manages to hop all the way to Mars. Then, be-wigged models appeared to have sprouted antennae backstage. As for the clothes, there were kicky shoe and fob-watch motifs, sequins fashioned into Lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds-style scenes and hallucinogenic prints. It was Alice in Wonderland meets Marvin the Martian meets Peggy Moffit as Romance Was Born effortlessly provided a kooky (and necessary) refresher as MBFWA moves into day two.
Photography: Clint Barter