Australian MBFW 2014: Know Your Designers!

haryono setiadi
As Fashion Weeks in Paris, London and Stockholm are all but a memory, we gear up Down Under for a fashion week done in a typically-Australian way… a more relaxed affair. Something that sends local, brand-new to market talent down runways twixt highly regarded, well established designers that have been operating ’round these parts for decades.

The Mercedes Benz Fashion week kicks off at Carriageworks in Sydney in under a fortnight, and amongst mid-morning stress dreams about what shoes will go with that bloody-impossible digi print leather skirt and doing many-a squat in the name of fashion, I have come up with a list of designers whose full catwalk productions that I’m looking forward to seeing.

E L L E R Y - Google Chrome 26032014 82103 AMELLERY
Simplistic in colour pallete choice but not taking any shortcuts in design, ELLERY is an established boundary-pusher within the Australian fash circuit. Creating slick designs for the working woman with an eye for modern architectural design inspired garb. I live for that flouted pinstripe pant suit (pictured right). All Flouted Everything.

Debuting in ’11 with highly acclaimed 3D prints, the Sydney-based designer (work pictured above) has grown from strength to strength with his innovative fabric treatments and precision tailoring. The guy gets what females want- cool futuristic patterns on items that fit impeccably on the female form, creating effortless, minimalist ensembles.

Responsible for last years MBFW significant talking point – that metal halter-neck top– the young designer is collecting accolades like sweets here and abroad for his ever inventive and incredible contribution to women’s fashion…And the production of wearable Magic Eye puzzles.

When I was young, I took an a fairly remedial art class that involved rolling marbles in a tray littered with ink, the result was much like (a much worse version) of a Leroy Nguyen print. The psychedelic, often fluorescent prints are taken back from realms of absurdity with clean lines and elegant structure, which are assisted furthermore by the use of contrasting fabrics – like sheer mesh and organza.

Toni Matičevski, whom after operating and displaying his works around the world for the past decade has definitely learnt to execute an excellent pedulum and gained the ability to expose the female form in luxurious leather.

Fond of animal prints (no no, not like that, I’m talking beetles, spiders and bats!) is the quirky colour lover from Queensland that only graduated in ’12. Possible goody bag treats at this show? I’m thinking Gobstoppers, Nerds, rubber snakes, a bulging eye stress balls, copy of MAD Magazine and a handful of disposable glow-sticks.

Creator of high-necked sweaters, lazy unrestrained pants and midline leather skirts, Quan makes clothes that would look perfect and envy-worthy on Chloë Sevigny. The collections are completed with potent injections of primary colours to keep things fresh and interesting.

Friend and contributor to, Noni Cragg is often seen wrapped in designs that bring new life to Jimmy Pike (an Australian Indigenous artist that perfected his art in prison) thanks to the Sydney label, Desert Designs. The fluro fauna interpretations come in basic form but are nonetheless remarkably easy-wearing pieces for cool bush dwelling gals and city babes alike.

Using materials and creative techniques that are usually destined for industrially created private school skirts and formal suits, UNIF.M have burst upon the the fashion scene providing quality workmanship and precision in everyday wear. I love their sexy leather pinafores from way-back-when and more recently, these videos (hot).

Needing no introduction are the creators of whimsical psychedelic trips with exploitive imaginations of Wonka proportions. Dream team, Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett create oracular extravaganzas (refer to Magic Mountain) rather than seasonal fashion collections. I cant’t wait to see what they come up with.

She was doing the seapunk thing before it was cool, putting killer whales and iguanas on bomber jackers like it was nobody’s business – And the people flocked! Devoid of following trends, the colourful output from this exciting young designer is something to be closely followed by both sexes.

So that’s a wrap. We’ll be covering the  action live and we’ll have an inside source doing her sneaky reporter thang from backstage too. Just you wait, it’ll be good. For more information about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week simply have a look at their website, here.



Words by Carol Bowditch.