This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Labels We Love At Melbourne Fashion Week

Australian Fashion

With Melbourne Fashion Week taking over our home city from this Friday, August 31st, today we’re veering a little out of our usual territory, to spotlight seven Aussie fashion designers worthy of your attention!

This sublime editorial produced by Hart & Co has been shot by legendary lensman Mark Roper, with styling and words (what a wonder woman!) by Kate Gaskin. Stunning Model Billie is swathed in swoon-worthy garments soon to grace the upcoming MFW runways, as she haunts Butterland in Castlemaine… enjoy!

27th August, 2018

Billie wears Michael Lo Sordo jacket, pants and collar. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Arnsdorf dress, Lelet headband from Christine and Miss Louise mules. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Arnsdorf dress and Lelet headband from Christine. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Aje blouse, waistcoat and pants, with Victoria Beckham glitter heels from Christine. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Ginger and Smart dress. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Lee Mathews shirt and skirt. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Akira dress. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Akira dress. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Akira dress. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Nevenka dress and Lanvin earrings from Christine. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Verner blouse and pants, and Christine earrings. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Martin Grant coat, pants and blouse all from Christine, and Lanvin earrings also from Christine. Photo – Mark Roper. Styling – Kate Gaskin. Hair & Make-up – Christine Gaunt. Model – Billie at IMG. Location – Butterland.

Kate Gaskin
Monday 27th August 2018

Melbourne Fashion Week really is an exciting melting pot of the best of the best.’ – Kate Gaskin.

September is always a very exciting time of year in Melbourne. Spring is in the air, warmer weather is on its way, and we kick it all off with Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW)!

I have been involved with the Festival for over 10 years now, and in my time have seen it grow from what was once quite a local, small-scale affair, into a nationally recognised celebration of the country’s best emerging and well-known designers and retailers. Not just a platform for fashion, the week celebrates varying genres of creative industry, through multi-disciplinary programming spanning music, art, film and design.

And whilst I certainly expect to see a few key dominant trends this season (pastels, tailoring, mod prints, lace…), I am finding more and more that Australian labels are really refining their own identity, and exploring new ways of conveying their individual personal visual message through design, rather than following on from what has already been done overseas.

A rapid influx of international high street brands flooding the market in recent years has caused a lot of local designers to rethink the way they design and produce garments.

As a result, a lot of positive change has ensued, with designers doing smaller runs, producing locally, and becoming more aware of their environmental footprint. In turn, the end product has become more considered, better quality and more unique.

MFW really is an exciting melting pot of the best of the best – the most iconic, established designers and makers showcasing as part of the Premium Runways, the edgier streetwear-focussed cool kids of the Garage Runways, right through to the new generation of student designers that will be exciting us with their unbridled talent and limitless creativity and imagination.

Here, we highlight some outstanding Australian labels that will be showing…

 

Aje

For their resort collection, that will be shown as part of the Town Hall Designer Series runways, Aje designers Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest have been fortunate enough to work within the archives of one of Australia’s most prolific artists, Brett Whiteley.

Collaborating with his wife and muse Wendy to ensure the integrity of his artworks would be preserved, the Aje designers transformed his artworks into prints that feature heavily throughout the collection. Wendy’s unique personal style also helped to inform the silhouettes of the garments, creating wearable artworks that are as unique as their muse.

 

Akira

Iconic Sydney based designer Akira Isogawa, in quite a romantic and perhaps inadvertent way, has also created a collection with a focus on sustainability. The inspiration for his collection this season ‘Vicious Beauty’ came from a box of 80’s fabric swatches given to him by a fabric shop before they closed down. The designers says ‘I loved the idea of repurposing something that would otherwise have been destined for landfill’. All his prints of the season have come out of that box.

In his 25th anniversary collection that will be showcased as part of the Designer Series runways, Akira has really focussed on an exploration of some of the cornerstone ideas of the brand’s core signature of abstract romanticism – ruffles, handwork, sequins and organza are fused together to create a collection that returns to the masterfully decorative and pretty aesthetic he is known for.

 

Arnsdorf

Exquisite modern womenswear label Arnsdorf are trailblazers. Pushing boundaries within the industry in areas of business practice transparency, sustainability and ethical manufacture, they produce everything in-house at their Collingwood factory, and offer all clients complimentary alterations and repairs for the lifetime of their garments.

Their current collection was inspired by the study of drapery in marble sculpture, and the idea of fluidity from structure. Designer Jade Sarita Arnott says ‘it is also an investigation into modern sophistication and codes of dressing. Volume and scale are exaggerated in some garments, while others have a subtle manipulation of form.’

 

Lee Mathews

This namesake label, which is going on nearly 20 years, has always had a strong signature style. But in a testing time for Australian fashion, Lee Mathews has seen it as an opportunity to inject some new perspective into the brand, whilst at the same time maintaining her strong stance on sustainability and effortlessly chic signature style.

Focussing on traditional natural, biodegradable textiles like silks and organic cottons and linens, as well as new technology such as EcoNyl (a fabric made up entirely from waste nylon and recovered fishing nets) the brand has just brought on a new creative director, Natalia Gryzbowski, to, as Lee puts it ‘bring a fresh take to our signature work with silks and resort dresses.’

 

Martin Grant

Melbourne born international superstar Martin Grant will also be showcasing his exquisite designs via the infamous, one-and-only destination for all things amazing, Melbourne institution : Christine. Owner Christine Barro has been a long-time champion of local industry and is now the exclusive Australian stockist of Martin Grant’s collections.

Known for his elegance and uncluttered modernity, Martin’s collection in combination with Christine’s fabulous accessory additions will certainly be a highlight of the week.

Precise tailoring mixed with voluminous silk silhouettes will float down the runway in an array of rich metallics and unique fabrics, staying true to Grant’s simple yet spectacular signature style.

 

Nevenka

While looking to the future is the way forward for some, for Rosemary Masic of Melbourne label Nevenka, inspiration is found in the past.

From a Croatian heritage, Masic often delves into storytelling and the roots of her past to find inspiration, but also looks to key historical fashion figures such as Marie Antoinette, who heavily inspired her current collection. Noting that she ‘loves to bring luxury to everyday life, not just special occasions,’ Masic’s dresses will be dancing down the runway as part of the Designer Series shows.

 

Verner

One theme that has become quite apparent across several fashion collections in recent years, is the melding of art and fashion. Whilst art and music have always been a major influence on fashion, I think the exploration across the mediums has become so much more apparent as we see designers favouring a more artisanal approach to creating clothes.

Local Melbourne label Verner have this season collaborated with friend and painter Gian Manik to create their collection titled ‘Picture Sequences’ which they will be showcasing as part of the MFW Underground Runway series at the iconic Degraves Underpass. Graffiti sprays, painterly markings, and hand-drawn scribbles are taken from the work of Manik and transformed into beautifully printed garments that ‘fuse creative practices to find a new shared visual language.’

In addition to the Melbourne Fashion Week runways, there are talks, exhibitions, parties, films and free fashion experiences to be had. Check out Melbourne.vic.gov.au/mfw for more information.

 

Photography: Mark Roper
Styling: Kate Gaskin
Hair & Make-up: Christine Gaunt
Model: Billie at IMG
Location: Butterland
Production: Hart & Co

View Comments

Similar Stories

Dream Job

Luke Mortimer · Creative Manager, MIMCO

MIMCO's Creative Manager on why Rihanna's sooo right, and what's to be gained by sharing the limelight.
Elle Murrell

Podcast

TDF Talks With Gorman Founder + Creative Director Lisa Gorman

For our third TDF Talks episode, we chat to the creative mind behind one of Australia's most loved fashion brands – Gorman.

Dream Job

Gemma Keil · Fashion Editor, Stellar

Working for one of Australia’s highest-circulation weekend magazines is a dream job for effervescent Stellar Magazine Fashion Editor,...
Elle Murrell

This Week

Creative People

Building A Family Legacy On Local Manufacturing, With Abode Living

Creative director Amelia Marasco Adair takes us on a tour of the company's Camberwell HQ - featuring their production warehouse, offices +

News

An Online Fundraiser Featuring Work By 100+ Local Artists!

The annual B-Side art sale by artist-run, not-for-profit gallery Blindside is back to raise money for the arts community, this year featurin...
Sasha Aarons

Shopping

An Epic Collaboration Between Two Local Icons, David Bromley + Review!

David Bromley collaborates with much loved local fashion label Review on a colourful new collection of apparel and accessories.
44:00

Podcast

The Unconventional Career Path Of Interior Designer Yasmine Ghoniem Of YSG Studio, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, host Lucy Feagins talks to the founder of YSG Studio and so-hot-right-now visionary leading the Australian int...

Stays

A Contemporary Reimagining of Robin Boyd’s Fenner House

Las Palmas by DUO Architects in association with Davis Architects is a Byron Bay hinterland home inspired by the owner's upbringing in Robin...

Shopping

Nau Releases 2021 Australian-Made Furniture Collection

Cult’s in-house Australian-made furniture and lighting brand, Nau, releases it 2021 collection designed by Adam Goodrum, Kate Stokes, Adam...
1.50

One Room Wonders

A Contemporary Chic Bedroom Makeover

A gorgeous, achievable room transformation - in partnership with Surround by Laminex.

A Longer Read

Design-Led Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Is Not New

Jirra Lulla Harvey - Koorie woman, First Nations business strategist, and judge of the TDF + Laminex Design Awards Collaboration category ...
Jirra Lulla Harvey
  13 hours ago

Studio Visit

P0LY Designs : The Ultimate Pandemic Pivot Project

How Lara Fisher and Andy Kepitis turned their lockdown hobby into full-time business!

Homes

A Photographer + Art Director’s Alistair Knox Home

Photographer Sean Fennessy, and art director Jessica Lillico's heart-warming Warrandyte mid-century family home, designed by Alistair Knox!

On The Market

An Iconic Melbourne Art Family’s Richmond Home Is For Sale

The family of beloved artist Mirka Mora are selling their contemporary, multi-level home, featuring a pool-with-a-view!

TDF Design Awards

ANNOUNCING The Winners Of The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

Last night we announced the winners and commended projects in the TDF + Laminex 2021 Design Awards in our online awards ceremony! Drum roll
Lucy Feagins
  21 hours ago

Architecture

A Remarkable Reworking Of A Humble Gold Coast Shack

ME Architects have extraordinarily reworked and extended this humble 1970s Gold Coast home.

On The Market

A Santorini-Style Oasis (And One Of Our Fave Ever Homes) Is On The Market!

Artist Phoebe Rolleston’s architect-designed, breezy family home in Glen Iris, Melbourne is for sale. And we are so jealous of the new own...

News

A Glamorous New Range Of Matte + Metallic Mixers

New additions to Phoenix Tapware’s popular Designer Sink Mixers collection will complement every element in your home.
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Dream Job

Luke Mortimer · Creative Manager, MIMCO

MIMCO's Creative Manager on why Rihanna's sooo right, and what's to be gained by sharing the limelight.
Elle Murrell

Podcast

TDF Talks With Gorman Founder + Creative Director Lisa Gorman

For our third podcast episode, we chat to the creative mind behind one of Australia's most loved fashion brands – Gorman.

Dream Job

Gemma Keil · Fashion Editor, Stellar

Working for one of Australia’s highest-circulation weekend magazines is a dream job for effervescent Stellar Magazine Fashion Editor,...
Elle Murrell

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.