Most Australians will be aware of the work of Nicola Finetti as she sells in most good department stores over here. For me, the clothes were slightly ill-fitting in some sections and the fabrications, in parts, were questionable… If, I were being honest – and what’s the point of show reports otherwise – the standard of execution wasn’t good enough.
GINGER & SMART:
I really feel the geography dictates the outcome. You feel Australia and the Australian way of living in the clothes here – I maintain that. You see it in the fabrics and colours and the overall feel of the pieces coming down the catwalk. Ginger & Smart illustrate this perfectly: there was so much movement and freedom in the clothes – a sense of ease. Think of the work of Isabel Marant – I’d say Ginger & Smart is the Australian girl equivalent, and I loved it!
Since beginning her label Jade Arnott of Arnsdorf has developed a strong following for her soft-as-butter aesthetic and twisted basics. She cites one of her favourite models as Emma Balfour and favourite celebs as Chloe Sevigny and Lou Doillon – this makes total sense: the aesthetic is effortlessly cool and understated. It was the way she played with proportions too: high-waisted belted-trousers with a small collared-shirt neatly tucked in. The palette: coral, pale blue and pale grey, lent the show a quiet, very ’70s feel plus a beautiful oddness, which I adored. The hair was simple and combed over one shoulder and it all felt terribly elegant. Elegant in in a very modern way. Note, this is not ‘It Girl’ fashion, this is about a customer who wants to make a quiet statement. If there was a down side, it was the cut-out black pieces. Otherwise, great show!
The show – christened ‘The Falling’ – started with excerpts from the disturbing, arresting and strangely beautiful film La Haine. It immediately captured the imagination and attention of the audience. The show notes began with the paragraph: ‘Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper ? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying, to reasssure himself: ‘So far so good… so far so good. How you fall doesn’t matter. It’s how you land!’
On a screen near the catwalk: a sequence of footage of various people falling – and then the show began… Here was something very 3d, something less frivolous than the we’d seen before: opening with Emma Balfour, the clothes went from great to even better and it was a deliberately clever alternative to prettiness and girly fashion. It felt thought-about, well designed and very considered. It had the depth of the Margielas, Demeulemeesters and Haider Ackermanns of our universe, and could quite easily stand the test of comparison. A refreshing simplicity dominated.
DIET COCA COLA COLLABORATION DRESSES:
Above left to right: Willow, Alex Perry, Romance Was Born, Alpha 60.
Above, left to right: Alice McCall, Sass & Bide, Missoni,
Above: the gigantic LED screen on the catwalk.
This was interesting: Diet Coca Cola asked 10 designers to create three dresses each inspired by the fizzy drink with some great results. Each designer’s signature came through, you only have to look at the pictures to see that and they certainly had ‘fizz’!.. Get this too: Maggie Missoni (house designer) had flown in from Milan especially! They don’t mess about Down Under.
The Antipodium show opened with a man – IN FULL MAKE-UP! You could have been forgiven for thinking it was a girl – things were starting off very EMO! The casting was a mix of real girls/models and bigger girls, which was great. Surely, questioning the use of models and ‘beautiful’ people is a good thing. But I couldn’t help but think it distracted from the clothes – what were we here to see, anyway? I also found, the styling a little, ermm… heavy-handed.
Dion Lee’s insightlful approach to design and future-forward tailoring was inspiring and refreshing! The idea of this collection was based on the crushed car sculptures of John Chamberlain. It felt accomplished and mature and an amazing surprise – a collection that could hold its own on the international circuit. Wonderful!! There was so much to love, so much beautiful folding – it was an origami like approach to cloth – look at the picture of the blue biker jacket dress! This was Dion’s first stand-alone show and it offered so much promise. I’d also suggest he thought about the ergonomics of clothing: there was function in his mind. We sneaked backstage after the show and he was crying. Bless! Sooo cute!