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Lucire 2011 Kate Sylvester Our favourite off-site collection at Australian Fashion Week, as the Kiwis sparkled

Sydney’s multiple inspirations

Josephine Leong and Ashleigh Berry pick their favourites from Rosemount Australian Fashion Week’s spring–summer 2011–12 collections, where Kate Sylvester and Stolen Girlfriends’ Club flew the Kiwi flag high


ROSEMOUNT AUSTRALIAN FASHION WEEK (RAFW) is Australia’s premier fashion industry event. This year, the event was based at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) at Sydney’s Circular Quay, the gateway to one of the most exquisite harbours in the world. The week-long event showcases not only Australian fashion talent, such as Sara Phillips, Camilia and Toni Maticevski, but a selection of a few Kiwi designers including Kate Sylvester and Stolen Girlfriends’ Club. In addition, RAFW also showed rising designers such as Antonia Paris, Billi Keato, Luela and Sally Koeswanto.

Kate Sylvester presented her spring–summer 2011–12 collection, Into the Light, off-site at the Inglis Newmarket Stables’ sales ring in Randwick. Sylvester’s show was the highlight of this year’s RAFW. The spectacular lighting and smoke created a show, which was unique and won’t be forgotten for a long time. It was staged in a dressage circle at Randwick. It was fast-paced as the models moved quickly around the circle.

The garments were typical Kate Sylvester, wearable though served up with a thought of high drama. Sylvester delivered a mood piece inspired by the ephemeral oscillation of the moth’s wing and a reverie to the revs of a motocross engine. The collection consisted of more than 30 pieces, with inspiration influenced by the images of moths and motocross, translated to washed silks and soft viscose. Moody, dusty tones ruled supreme, interspersed with shots of vivid colour. The collection was elegant, celestial, and feminine at the same time. The hot roller flames along the hemlines of the skirts still portray the boyish quality in all of Sylvester’s designs. The tulle appeared on silk Ts and dresses, creating a scheming juxtaposition between the masculine and feminine.

Stolen Girlfriends’ Club’s show took place at the Cargo Theatre. Their collection, named The Big Comedown, is a tale of the ups and downs of love and the heartbreak that every so often comes with it. ‘It’s all about falling in and out of love. The lightness and dreamy state when you’re in that “bubble”, contrasting with the pain, angst and bitterness of being dumped. We’re always searching for two opposing themes for each collection. We love the contrasts and juxtapositions,’ said the designers. The unique textile prints, from the borrowed works of Auckland-based artist, Karl Maughan, well known for his hyper-real paintings of lush gardens and native fauna, were featured in this collection.

The garments themselves started with light wash-out denims, detailed with leather panelling and bright garden prints. A long sheer dress and a short A-line printed dress with big three-dimensional ruffles were the prominent looks in this collection, before the collection turned dark. The models had dark lips and wet-look hair, distinguishing their rock-edge style. Deep blues and black were the protruding colours for their look. The dark prints transfigured into looser-fitting pieces and panels of georgette and chiffons, to create a gorgeous tier dress as the finalé piece.

For spring–summer 2011–12, Marnie Skillings has taken her collection into the feminine side, starting with floaty small-scale floral prints on a sheer orange tier dress. This collection was a mixture of texture, mixed prints and soft silhouettes. There was a clear ’70s sensation in this collection. To style this collection, Skillings collaborated with internationally known stylists, Dave Bonney and Michelle Jank. As a result, the collection looked fun and feminine with all the unexpected colour combinations, chunky bangles and sheer socks. There were old vinyl records used as props in the show, just to strengthen the vintage feel of this collection.


Stolen Girlfriends’ Club

Marnie Skillings




Kate Sylvester

Stolen Girlfriends’ Club


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Lucire 2011 | The Global Fashion Magazine

Inspiring location, inspiring fashion
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