Words by Matt Huxley
I love The Innovators show. Showcasing that innovative edge that Australian fashion so desperately needs, the show proves to the world that Australia can do innovative couture. This year, for myself at least, it did not disappoint! In fact it was the cheeky highlight of the week – though not brighter than the one on my face I can assure you (#strobelife.)
Kickstarting the entire show, Jessica Van really set the bar high with a whimsical earth-toned collection. Voluminous sleeves, oversized mermaid trains, branch horns and layers of embellishment characterised this collection. A standout piece was the opening oversized cream gown with peach trimming and antlers. Another fave of mine was a muted brown fishtail gown with white rope work on the front and a tie dye pattern on the tail itself.
Sport Luxe was re-imagined by Frederick Jenkyn. The addition of fringing elements to bodices, skirts and dresses added a distinct element. Some oversized and cropped jumpers also caught my eye, as did a rather nice leather halter/box pleat skirt combo, treading that line between sexy and sultry perfectly. An oversized back fold sleeveless knit also ticked all the right boxes – and pleasing the minimalist bloggers in the audience!
Presenting strong unisex pieces, Oxblood gave us edgy pieces and some cool layering ideas. Extra long hoodies provided the perfect foil to matchy-matchy pant and top combos. An Oxblood-emblazoned sports bib was styled over a graphic print tunic-style top and leather pants – to great acclaim. Sunglasses added the perfect “cool kid” tough to a highly consistent collection.
Ahhh I love Mandem. Sorry just lost in wistful lusting over half their collection. From emblazoned cropped sweaters, to army trench inspired coats (that buckle tho), to man-skorts (yes, this is a thing) to the layered silhouettes which y’all know I love so much, this was always going to be a collection that got me going.
An interesting collection, Ahmad Taufik’s designs brought to mind the railway workers of the 20s and 30s (weird, I know). With cropped straight leg pants, over the knee shorts, derby shoes, bowler hats, cropped jackets, unbuttoned grandpa collar shirts and cream wifebeaters, the collection was highly androgynous and effective. The quality and tailoring was undeniable.
Fringe is back! That’s what Ipsen was proclaiming loud and clear with the majority of this amazing collection. From the opening iconic look of a bias-cut stockinged dress from top of the head (quite literally) to the floor – strategically placed material “scribbles” covered the delicate parts, to a slit to there hot pink dress and a pair of day-glo yellow gloves, the collection was guaranteed to cause commotion. The fringe splicing, shoe-covering stockings and unusual shapes to some of the garments may have proved to be difficult to walk in for the models, but they gave something different to a rather minimalist-oriented fashion week. It was a win in my book.
Fuck me dead. This was the standout of the entire week for me. This is couture at it’s finest. Kakopieros brought us dark, edgy, voluminous shapes, clinking spikes, mouth jewellery that was largely composed of safety pins and the odd mesh piece. Forming floor-length voluminous pieces out of a material that vaguely had the same thickness as carpet can’t have been easy, yet Kakopieros not only made it happen, they made it well. The closing look of a spiked, mesh and leather dress will be the highlight of the week.
Which was your favourite designer? Make sure you let me know down in the comments!
All photos were provided courtesy of image.net
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