Lauren Elaine’s swimwear collection was a vast assemblage of comfortably matched separates, easily translatable to both outside and indoor environments. Appropriate covers made of sheer cottons and chiffons featured beautifully made fluted sleeves in an asymmetric cut. Metallic bandeaus and one-piece cut-out suits in both subdued aquas and coppers were mixed with their brighter fluoro counterparts. The entire show was a relaxed and playful affair with each model cheekily performing towards the cameras and audiences.
By the Beach
A slight misnomer with the collection’s label as this showcase contained more active-wear than swimwear but nevertheless some relevant outcomes (to the seaside) came sauntering down the runway. A re-adaptation of the ’80s high-visibility gym gear made an appearance with a focus on the dynamics between fluoro on top of fluoro. High cuts on swimsuits were dismissed in favour for their more æsthetically appealing low-cut counterparts. And more subdued offerings in the form of beige yoga gear balanced the collection’s presentation.
Jardin by Bharbara Renault
Moments on a tropical island were referenced throughout Jardin by Bharbara Renault’s collection. It was full of contrasts, featuring the asymmetric and symmetric, geometric and abstract, and feminine and functional elements. Hems were kept high and silhouettes sensible and simple. A diamond screen print in a polarizing colour was a notable feature, and panels of orange and brown leather kept the pieces texturally interesting.
Misu a Barbe by Misu Kim
A very welcoming environment pervaded the audiences with the opening sequences of Misu a Barbe by Misu Kim’s collection. Her latest offerings consisted of bright graphic images screen-printed on to women skirts, cardigans and structures. Equally vibrant bold and sculptural necklaces were accessorized alongside these styles.
Belinda Liu’s collection exuded a very strong sense of glamour with a spattering of childlike fun thrown into the mix. Colours were vibrant and made into flowing layers of sheer chiffons that were detailed with dramatic low-cut backs. A playsuit reminiscent of old French glamour was a notable piece, with high contrast trims of black and white. A ’60s-style A-line dress in a colourful paisley print embraced the fun and youthful vibe of the decade.
Hachung Lee (right) presented a spectacular and wholly engaging collection that offered a contemporary and appropriate take on adapting draped garments to menswear. The palette on offer included off-whites, greys and red transformed into austere and commanding silhouettes. Large-brimmed rain-hats and hoods obscured the models’ façades, adding to this commanding showcase. One of the most strongest looks was a head-to-toe decked-out model, including red shoelaces.
Another menswear designer, Jose Jhan introduced the crowds at VFW to parts of his Caribbean culture. The collection itself was full of fun yet dramatic pieces with chequered prints and bold colours out in full force. An all-pink dress suit was styled with a cream fedora and an electric orange blazer was paired with rich purple woollen trouser pants. Traditional silhouettes and tailoring techniques were playfully explored with more modern and contemporary fabric choices.
Rajadano showcased a range of evening bags that were very vibrant in both colour and structure. Metallic accents adorned both the boundaries of the closures and base with slight beadwork evidenced on the front closures of some.
Traipsing down the catwalk, some of the models walking Maria Peligro’s collection held large wire birds. Hers was a collection filled with a variety of concepts and siilhouettes that, although diverse, complemented one another fairly well. The ground work lay in her colours of fuchsia, baby blue and beige intertwined in a mix of body suits, layered and cascading frills. Alongside this was a more subdued palette of black cut-out dresses and sensible structured shorts.
Claire O’Connor (right) exhibited a showcase filled with dramatic pieces. Sculptural applications to the shoulders and neck created a strength within her silhouettes, hems were largely kept high and silks were beautifully dyed taking cues given by impressionist paintings. A peculiar element of her showcase, however, were her laser-cut leather belts and neck warmers, which detracted a great deal from the workmanship of her other pieces. Colours of tonal blues and oranges were a recurring feature.
Sadaf Tahvildarzadeh, who hails from Iran, referenced themes derived from his Iranian heritage throughout this collection. Exotic and dramatic full-length gowns with plunging necklines and tastefully exposed areas were the crux of his offerings. Made of sumptuous silks and chiffons, they were showcased in a wide range of reds, turquoise, warm greens and luscious yellows. Some traditional beadwork, normally applied to home décor, was used as an accent piece along necklines.
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