With more and more eyes on the MBFWA runways each year, the world is finally noticing that Australian fashion is more than just maxi dresses and Dion Lee. The newbies stepped in this Spring 2014/2015 season, setting the pace for a bold new world of Aussie fashion. (And of swimsuits, too.) Here are five things we were particularly feeling, from street-appropriate neoprene to pastels gone rogue.
1. Crazy Prints (Desert Designs, Romance Was Born, Duvenage, Emma Mulholland)
Don’t worry if you never nailed print-mixing, because this season’s prints hold enough power on their own. Desert Designs drew from the outback, Emma Mulholland from 80s brat packs, while Duvenage showcased dramatic pixelated watercolors leaving no hue behind.
2. New Swim (We Are Handsome, NLP, Toni Maticevski)
Swimwear is always a major player at MBFWA. We Are Handsome is a guaranteed highlight and NLP is the undisputed queen of neoprene. But Maticevski showed you shouldn’t limit synthetics to your bathers, nailing the use of neoprene on cool separates and dresses. Hayley Elsaesser’s rash guard tops are also acceptable beach-to-sidewalk pieces.
3. Whiteouts (Ellery, Alice McCall, Ginger & Smart, Cameo)
Anything monochrome was a big deal, but white-on-white was taken to the next level by Ellery and Alice McCall. Ellery mix-and-matched oversized shapes in a range of lush textures, while McCall paired frills and lace with ruching and knots for a cool kooky-youth appeal. Newcomer Cameo (check them out) layered meshed white bombers with geometric skirts, and Ginger & Smart's trouser sets were crisp as hell. Whiteouts were also common in the front row.
4. Pastels Gone Rogue (Emma Mulholland, Hayley Elsaesser, Alice McCall)
One of our absolute favorite shows this season was newbie Hayley Elsaesser’s pastel cornucoipa. Aqua hues, exciting prints and shiny fabrics gave the trend a much-needed upgrade. Alice McCall was also vibing off the ocean, showing pastel pieces equally well suited for the boudoir or a mermaid rave. And Emma Mulholland’s washed-out hues were more Malibu Beach than country club.
The person creating the biggest stir this year wasn’t a designer. It was Australian model Ollie Henderson, who made 100 #starttheriot T-shirts with slogans such as “Sexism Sucks,” “Power to the Peaceful” and “Abbott Is So Last Season.” With other models spreading the message by snapping selfies and getting shot street style while wearing the shirts, Ollie’s movement has gone global. Just when you thought slogan tees were over!