Mackenzie Jones went beyond constructing a catwalk experience, transplanting
a mobile theatre in the midst of the showcase. Music from Florence
and the Machine blared its way across the audience and the models
exhibited the same amount of gusto prancing down the catwalk. The
styling was something akin to an updated version of Neanderthal-wear
and included ornamental mammoth and deer husks perched precariously
on various extremities of models’ limbs. Both men and women inhabited
the spotlight, performing a sequence of scenes of broken but intense
emotions of love, with flailing bodies and lurching motions. Fox
fur in creams and subdued oranges played a significant role in the
collection’s designs alongside heavy riveting down side seams of
trousers and dresses. Carefully placed dramatic black beadwork was
sewn into the framework of harnesses alongside additional decorations
of fresh and dead flowers.
Asymmetric cuts were a stand-out feature, proliferating itself throughout
Mattea Goldstein’s collection. There were delicately placed pin-tucks
alongside the hem and necklines, creating quite a beautiful drape
with the heavy silks. Colours were subdued with a lot of focus on
the tonal differences of pink, caramel and off-whites.
Summer wear is enough to encapsulate the spirit of Nicole Barron’s
collection, full of floral and brightly screened silks, and cottons
and linens in shades of lavender, blush pink and golden orange.
Necklines were made deep, paired with a bare back, making you seem
overexposed at times but a great combination of short, mid- and
full-length separates were cautiously put together.
Nicole Courchaine’s impetus to develop this line was a desire
to see better-fitted swimwear on women. Her bikinis were feminine
and sexy, to the extreme, to the point of appearing crude in some
cases, though she used luxurious fabrics and adopted trends such
as colour blocking and metallics.
Elegance and sophistication seem to be the cornerstone of this designer’s
collection with very clean finishes in feminine silk and brocades,
reminiscent of tapestry derived from the Elizabethan era. A very
feminine collection playing upon flouncy proportions.
Peter Nguyen’s collection was perhaps the most distinguished
of the night with evidence of strong considerations on proportion
and fit. The palette contained muted hues of camel and browns landscaping
the dominant black, eschewing the current trends of bright colours.
Volume was clearly a priority with Wilber Teilez’s recent
offerings, with a playful accentuation of bodily forms (right).
Skirts were made bulbous, akin to Dior’s New Look silhouette.
A comical shirt made of black heavy cotton harked back to Teilez’s
career objective of working with the Cirque du Soleil. Colours on
either extreme of the spectrum were hastily combined to add a notable
contrast, but the whole collection felt lacklustre.
Victoriana and tribal references combined together to create a mystical
aura enveloping the collection at Temna Fialka. Models sauntered
down the catwalk adorned with deer antlers, glass beadwork, fox
fur and cuffs etched with imagery of Pagan gods, with panelled leather,
heavy embroidery and hand-painted silks.
Mortar and Pestle Apparel
Colour blocking and contrasting hues formed the foundation of the
Mortar and Pestle Apparel showcase. Soft alpaca and mohair knits,
stretch cottons and light silks produced a very comfortable mix
of easily matched and worn separates, making them perfect for jaunts
out of town. The main accessories of note: a selection of bright,
multicoloured geometric tribal printed clutches.
Beautiful dresses seem a speciality for Angel Eye, with a strong
collection produced aimed at the youth market. Floral, geometric
and animal silks and cottons were given a large dosage of attention,
made into simple silhouettes with scooped necklines and free-flowing
The D. W. show was a complete departure from the comparatively tasteful
showcasings offered at VFW. It begun
with singer Peter Breeze performing Vandeux’, whilst leading
models on to the catwalk. What followed was the first onslaught
of comical styling and behaviour. Gaudy frayed denim vests were
styled with black tights or shorts that were slayed with metal studs,
spike epaulettes and colourfully embroidered back panels. Hair was
teased and heavily back-combed and tactfully placed masking tapes
preserved the models’ dignity. This tasteless endeavour continued
with a series of new models lurching into sight, blindfolded with
mouths and chins smeared in some kind of charcoal metallic paint.
The entire show lacked a distinctive direction.
Shilmel Zagvar Design Center
A strong direction of concept was clearly evident with the latest
offerings from Shilmel Zagvar Design Center. An alternative playful
and more sensual appeal has been applied to the traditional forms
of the power suit with deep-cut necklines attached to high-structured
collars and expressive shoulders. Various muted chequered patterns
and soft leather offered a playful yet sophisticated element. These
were paired with tightly conforming skirts and trousers. Utilitarian
finishes like the zipper and trim-work were intentionally exposed.
Farida Lalji’s latest offerings heralded the traditional Mughlai
women’s formal attire, with elements that closely parallel its traditional
forms. Rich jewel tones continue to be mixed with deep blues and
purples with ornate trim detailing, offering a strong sense of eastern
opulence. Billowing gowns and structured vests are offered in a
variety of sumptuous fabrics of silk, georgette, chiffon, brocade
Colours reminiscent of the western orient punctuate the collections
of Karlinha Jewellery’s latest collection, expressing strongly
the young designers’ æsthetic of cultural appropriation.
Her travels have clearly translated into her pieces which hold a
number of precious stones found in specific regions of the globe.
Although designed beautifully and in a timeless form, the collection
potentially lacks mainstream appeal.
Eva Chen’s Black Swan collection showcased fashion staples
rehashed into slightly more exuberant and varied forms. A continuation
of her 2010 offerings, the skirt-suit has been given a more feminine
direction with her careful applications of delicate decals: trim,
lace, feathers combined with well structured mesh jacket forms.
Feather fasteners served as head-pieces, perpetuating the prim and
proper images the clothes evoked. Gentle fluting and feather decals
along hemlines allowed for subtle and, in some cases, strong contrasting
visuals. Overall, a well resolved outcome.