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Melbourne Fashion Festival coolly closes among the icebergs


NEWS
Filed by Devin Winter/March 23, 2011/9.50


The final L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival showing, hosted by Yen magazine, was held off-site at Shed 4, a short walk around the dock from where the main shows went down. In the grungier setting, spectators sat on plastic stools that resembled upturned trash cans arranged in a large swooping S. White cardboard “icebergs” jutted out of the floor, which was dusted with white confetti.

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LMFF   Enormous matching projections opened the show: an art-film-style short of writhing naked–semi-clothed bodies underwater introduced the first of the labels, Trimapee. Trimapee took a bunch of rubbery leather and really went to town. Its collection for men and women had a strong post-apocalyptic vibe about it. Jersey knits were stained with bleach spots, blazers were two tones of black and patched with leather, raggedy excess fabrics hung out from biker-bad outfits and the boots were thigh-high. Trimapee designers, Mario-Luca Carlucci and Peter Strateas really identified their collection’s theme and executed it with gusto.

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   Above sent their girls down the runway in outfits you could imagine they nicked from a bunch of Ivy League alumni from the ’50s. The collection featured a palette of navy and yellow ochre, and wardrobe staples—collared shirts and tailored trousers—chunky knit cardigans and jersey dresses. Laser-cut crisp cotton shirts and full skirts brought the collection back to modern-day. A healthy dose of monochromatic outfits kept the looks well on-trend.

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LMFF   Coats were the hot item for menswear at Extinct. The models wore a number of different styles but mainly looked like military poster-boys. According to Extinct, if you’re not wearing a coat this season, you’re not yet dressed men. As for the Extinct lady, she struts around with a plum in her mouth, or rather on her dress, and her cape (trend alert!) for that matter. She takes her trousers in dungaree form and has a penchant for velvet; cute, cosy and super-easy to wear.

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LMFF   If I were a magpie I wouldn’t have been able to contain myself as the House of Baulch deities shimmied out in silver or gold bodysuits, draped in spectacular, in your face, look-at-me, baubles. As former creative director of Mimco, Kathryn Baulch knows how to make jewellery and accessories that ladies and their gents simply drool over. For me, the models, given the cardboard pyramids of the set, were giant Egyptian goddesses, taking in the glory of their kingdoms, and so being appropriately adorned with the finery of the heavens.

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LMFF   Kuwaii serves up the last of the fashion delights for the purring audience. The silky printed patchwork fabric made up in blowsy shirts and skirts added just enough muted colour to the collection before the colour pop arrived yet again, this time in the form of a red ridding cape. Chalky fabrics were used in jumpsuits and lighter overcoats.
   I gave a sigh of relief having not fallen off my stool for the duration and looked towards the bank of photographers to locate my accomplice. There’s not much we said to each other as our eyelids grew heavy, a pat on the back is all that was needed. I, for one, spent the night dreaming up a shopping list from all the inspiration I had visually ingested during the week. After all, the collections showed at LMFF are available at retail, the week after fashion week will potentially see the murder of my bank balance.—Devin Winter

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