Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brisbane's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

August 23 marked the beginning for the fashion event gathering momentum in Brisbane as Queensland's premier fashion week. With a collection of the best local and national designers, the show was based in Brisbane's City Hall- and largely aimed at the public, similar to the Rosemount show recently held in Sydney. The week started with a swimwear show featuring designs by Flamingo Sands, Riot Swimwear and Rebecca Manning Swim, which saw models strutting bare-foot on the suitably chosen Portside Wharf.

Running up until November 8 is the greatly anticipated showcase by Queensland design duo Easton Pearson; celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their internationally recognised label. The collection explored the eccentricities that have inspired the designers since the label's conception in 1989. Sidestepping current trends, as always, the collection- showing in Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art- features beautifully detailed beading and embroidery. The editor of Australia Vogue herself, Kirstie Clements, was extremely impressed with the showcase, saying the pieces were "works of art."

Another Queensland local, was winner of the first season of Project Runway Australia; Juli Grbac, showing the latest designs from her Grbac label. I was definitely a Juli follower on the show, but looking at her collection this time round it seems like she's still stuck in Project-Mode. Her style really hasn't evolved since her first collection, and this week was proof her aesthetic favours the same satin, tulle and ruffled dresses. And it wouldn't be a Grbac show, of course, without the obligatory shoulder-frill that stands in contrast (and rightly so) to the strong shoulders we see around today. Although some may argue these features are her trademark, she plays it quite safe with one too many bodiced dresses. Although I would have expected her to embrace some more pleating in the way of pants for this season especially, her designs cannot be faulted in terms of craftsmanship. The picture below is one of my favourite pieces from the collection, which could have been a stand-out if she had ventured a bit further from her very frilly, very ruffly safety net.

Visitors to "Bris-Vegas" had seemingly much more to offer, still flying high after the success of previous shows and collections; with Kirrily Johnston, Nicola Finetti and Akira Isogawa to name a few. Johnston's collection was one of the highlights- featuring more (bang on trend) soft draping and muted colours than her show in Sydney, but still with the perfectly placed pop of orange.

Finetti's collection was beautiful, yet it too was borderline safe, with many of his looks similar not only to one another, but previous collections. His trademarked bodiced mini dress featured heavily throughout the collection, with sheers and a hint of an uneven hemline giving it a modern spin. I especially loved the dress below (partly because it reminded me of Dion Lee's Rosemount O Dress) for the incredible structure that was responsible for the collection's architectural saving grace.
If there was a brief for the Brisbane shows, Akira would have nailed it. His use of refreshing summer colours, floaty fabrics and models in sandals suited the place and climate, and has epitomised Queensland Fashion (strange, for a Sydneysider...)

Pictures from zimbio

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