Words by Matt Huxley
The Innovators is a show that highlights the most astounding and avant-garde fashion that Australia has to offer. Last year, this was my absolute favourite show, and it wowed me completely.
This year, it still had a high calibre of designers, but it was significantly tamer.
A.N.X presented an oversized oriental inspired show that served to wow the crowd right off the bat. There were some definite standouts; a swallowtail collar shirt with extended french cuffs was a great layering piece. A fringed corset gave a new take on the corset belt trend, paired with a handkerchief hem front shirt it perfectly summed up the androgyny of fashion.
Featuring hand painted Aboriginal patterns, Yohana gave us a well conceptualised collection. A johnny collar cotters with a contrasting neck scarf was a buyers piece. Cocoon wrap dresses served to accentuate the female form with plunging necklines.
Can we just firstly discuss how Richard is the cutest thing ever? I mean unf. Anyway. He presented a successful vampy line of white, black and burgundy. Tulle overlays, long duster coats, interesting use of leather and infinitely wearable layering pieces were the backbone of this collection. The frontbone (so to speak) was the faux crocodile skins (complete with legs) that were worn as bustiers. Too much? Potentially. Statement? Yes.
If you ever wanted to combine an acid trip with snorkelling on the barrier reef, look no further than Ewol. The collection was a celebration of colourful childhood innocence, exemplified by the vajazzled dummies adorning several of the model’s mouths. The frilled leg warmers were a fun twist.
I must admit, I’ve never really thought about getting handsy with a model in swimwear. Oh how times can change. Really structured bathers, held together with laced up eyelets, was quite an interesting and stylish take on your regular swimmers. Laser cut midriff panels resembled the lattice of a cicada wing. All in all a very solid collection.
A unique take on the sleepwear trend, Akle took oversized waffle knits and spliced them with tartan and lashings of tulle. Silken coats and pants gave a wearable perspective.
Probably the most strongly curated of the Innovators collection, Casea utilised pan-asian influencers in order to present an orientalised collection that was both reverential and wearable. Chinese silks were paired with indian panel skirts. Western keyhole halters were there and so were Japanese obi belts. Denim patchwork reminiscent of the American south and Chinese Qin dynasty-esque headdresses. Russian tiered skirts with ruffled edges. It was a conflagration of colour and texture that just worked. Brilliant.
Photos provided by Getty Images exclusively for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.