Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, Part 3


Marcus Thaine and Carol Bowditch headed to Carriageworks in Sydney for the final two days of MBFWA: 

Emma Mulholland takes the mundane things in life, catapults them through her pop-art-powered mind-collider and creates some of the most interesting designs to be seen on clothes. Two seasons ago saw ‘As Bad As I Guana Be’ with its signature iguana-playing-basketball-wearing-sunglasses-with-a-wave-in-the-lens print, then came ‘Spaced Out’ with its glowing alien pharaohs and finally last season’s ‘Spring Break’ felt like the past and future melded in some post-internet alpine-safari-style rave.

This year was Emma’s Spring Summer 14/15 ‘Risque Business’. The presser accompanying the show talked of the collection “moving away from bright neons, taking on a more muted pastel palette,” which is almost true… Colours were more pastel – with peach pinks, sky blues and whites dominating the collection. Though when you couple these together with dashes of lime green beneath a sea of sequins, you might as well be lost in a My Little Pony convention with the those glaring colours, unavoidably smacking you straight in the face. This isn’t to say that the colours ever became too much, or overly clunky – there is a genius to Mulholland’s work that manages to perfectly balance colour in a wearable and aesthetically interesting way.

The clothes were great, though the star of the show for me was really the music. Curated by dance party collective, Pelvis, the sounds perfectly reflected the clothes with pulsing edits from 80’s pop funk cuts such Falco’s ‘Auf De Flucht. The finale saw Myf Shephard, Rachel Rutt and Ollie Henderson lead the pack, dancing down the runway to Dolly Parton’s ‘Nine to Five’, which was cool, if a little awkward as the rest of models marched blank faced behind.

I went into the show thinking ‘Risque Business’ was going to be the defining (whatever that really means) show for Emma Mulholland, but it wasn’t quite… Her true breakthrough for me was ‘As Bad As I Guana Be’ with its innovate prints and ability to kick start trends.

DSCN5264And so, with day three done it was now time for the final instalment of Fashion Week. A spotting of the Waratah lover and Blue Mountains enthusiast, Jenny Kee, on the way to Carriageworks was a nice reminder of all the cool people that were circulating around the Inner West of Sydney that week. I had mooched about following a shy Susie Lau (aka Style Bubble) on previous occasions, spotted Vogue writers and many-a mystical figure that I previously only encountered ‘on the internet’. Modern life is weird, isn’t it?

After the Group Swim collaborative show I was psyched for the two showcases today of new gen designers and ‘innovators’. These shows are fast-paced, concentrated fashion showings. No fucking around with timing or set design, just a little snippet of what you will be seeing in the future in the main headline shows.

First up within the New Gen show was Doris Q, who had borrowed from the school of sportswear-as-everydaywear philosophy with heavy use of layered white mesh. I loved the reflective sunglasses and interesting prints used on ladylike garments. Next, Dyspnea showed the crowd how bloody gorgeous a medical condition can be with a diverse, eye-catching range. The label’s collection opened with a reflective suit, likely to be made of angels’ tears collected and then constructed into a working woman’s suit for gals in 2050. This was followed by a range of ‘is that… negligee?’ looks that had dotted candy-floss like fuzz across model’s bodies (see photo, top).

Rachelalex were obviously top of class at digital prints, with their wears showcasing imagery of moons and craters, lush patterns of blue and green splashed across nicely tailored garments. Their shapes, A-line and mid-waisted, paired with those prints, are sure to translate well to a diverse Australian market, I can see a bright future for these sisters. Finally, the designer I was waiting for, Anna Quan brought the goods with sophisticated suits paired with barely-there crop tops coloured in pastel hues.

After checking out some serious shoe game, it was time for The Innovators show. Ciara Nolan was a neoprene dream with creative curved shapes that were paraded down a runway coloured in neon prints that reminded me of my body boards back in the 90s. Hayley Dawson‘s pale blue and red leather buckled singlet tops were excellent and her general approach to garment shaping is very admirable. bag

I loved the accessories in this show, the models had their ponytails secured with plastic tubing, so simple with such effect, other notable add-on’s were featured in Bei Na Wei‘s show. Purely ornamental lazer-cut visors, with brilliantly structured handbags and geometrical clutches completed futuristic ensembles.

Kiaya Daniels‘ menswear collection further deepened my love for men’s fashion with crisp suits and scribbled prints. Yousef Akbar’s collection was brilliant with more extreme use of glitter and outstanding garment shapes. Bustiers swirled around the models’ bodies and swayed as they paced down the runway.

The week had pranced by faster than the queue for free coffee on site. Day Four was over and our time inside Carriageworks for Mercedes-Benz Fashion week had come to an end. It felt strange leaving the venue knowing that it would henceforth not be possible to take strangers’ photos without permission. Or, exclusively spending not-at-show-time on Instagram choosing the correct video cover image. Hope to see you next year, Mercedes Benz Fashion week, you gorgeous, time-consuming, wonderfully glamorous bitch.

CHECK THIS OFFER OUT: We have a special offer on the PARED eyewear & Emma Mulholland collaboration that featured on the runway. You can receive 10% off these sick frames with the discount code: risquebusiness

Review by Carol Bowditch (day four) and Marcus Thaine (day three). Pictures by Carol Bowditch. See our Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia photo galleries on our Facebook and don’t forget to check our reviews of Day One and Two.