Fashion Week Australia: The Highlights

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Last week, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia held its 20-year anniversary at Carriageworks in Sydney. This year, designers showed their most innovative collections to date, indicating Australia’s rising status in the fashion industry. The shows challenged the modern conventions of fashion shows, showing a refreshingly diverse selection of models, including athletes and the aboriginal-descended Samantha Harris. This article features the highlights from Fashion Week Australia’s shows for Spring/Summer 2015/16.


Ginger and Smart RS16 0934 Ginger and Smart RS16 1078

Ginger and Smart RS16 1168 Ginger and Smart RS16 1245

Ginger & Smart S/S 2015/16

Founded by sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart in 2002, lifestyle brand Ginger & Smart showcased their “Latitude” collection. Using the brand’s signature clean lines and raw materials, the sisters looked to the geography of their native Australia for inspiration. The collection featured designs derived from the flora and fauna local to Australia, as well as rock formations, tectonic plates and sand dunes. These breathtaking looks showed a modern and sophisticated interpretation of natural forms in fashion.


Maticevski RS16 1853 Maticevski RS16 2033

Maticevski RS16 2183 Maticevski RS16 2390

Maticevski S/S 2015/16

Known as the “couturier” of Australia due to his precise understanding of fabric, Toni Maticevski presented an innovatively sculptural collection. Contrasting structural silhouettes with delicately manipulated twists and folds, the designs embodied the avant-garde sensibility of revolutionaries such as Martin Margiela and Junya Watanabe. Maticevski’s inspiring collection marks a development in Australian fashion’s rising international reputation.


Jayson Brunsdon RS16 0876 Jayson Brunsdon RS16 0918

Jayson Brunsdon RS16 1113 Jayson Brunsdon RS16 1125

Jayson Brunsdon S/S 2015/16

Jayson Brunsdon, former fashion editor and contributor to US Vogue, sent both male and female models down the runway wearing matching his-and-hers outfits. Colourful animal prints, rose-patterned jacquards, and sequin-embellished outerwear enlivened the monochromatic looks beneath. Brunsdon’s vibrant and youthful collection showed a fresh and modern take on strict businesswear.


We Are Handsome RS16 4786 We Are Handsome RS16 4831

We Are Handsome RS16 4940 We Are Handsome RS16 5122

We Are Handsome S/S 2015/16

The week’s most talked about show powerfully represented the changing face of modern fashion. Opting for athletes and fitness models to present their collection, activewear brand We Are Handsome challenged the skinny conventions of the fashion industry. Instead, design duo Jeremy and Katinka Somers wished to promote a strong and healthy silhouette in the wearers of their designs. These colourful looks featured flower, palm tree and white tiger prints, reflecting the naturalism and physical strength of the brand’s target market.


Akira RS16 7106 Akira RS16 7462

Akira RS16 7502 Akira RS16 7594

Akira S/S 2015/16

This season, Japanese-born Akira Isogawa revived his signature east-west fusion aesthetic with innovative leather and sculptural accents. The ultra-feminine collection featured three-dimensional flowers protruding from the garments, transforming them to an artistic form. Nostalgia played a crucial role in the inclusion of red socks. This was an ode to Akira’s early collections, where they were worn, as the designer could not afford shoes for the models. This reflective collection acted as a celebration of the designer’s achievements, embodied in his inventive new designs.


Romance Was Born RS16 0181 Romance Was Born RS16 0214

Romance Was Born RS16 0238 Romance Was Born RS16 0414


Romance Was Born S/S 2015/16

This season, Romance Was Born presented an outrageously colourful collection, with all the theatricality the brand is known for. Fusing the tribalism of Australia’s indigenous past with a deeply historical aesthetic, the designers showcased their wildly extravagant designs. The finale look featured an exaggerated version of nineteenth-century dress, paired with a headdress evoking the royal splendour of Queen Victoria.


Overall, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2015 showcased the creativity and innovation of the country’s upcoming designers. The originality of the designs this year indicates the increasing talent of Australia’s designers, placing them on an international level of excellence.


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Written by Katherine Beckwith

Katherine is a History of Art student with a keen interest in the history of fashion. Having a previous artistic education, Katherine also has a watchful eye for the emerging trends in modern fashion.

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