Bianca Spender’s opening show for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week—held in the gallery dedicated to her late mother, Carla Zampatti—was a celebration of the female form.
Made from 90% deadstock fabrics, Bianca Spender’s Summer & Resort 2022 collection was a heavenly interpretation of soft tailoring, with lilac, burnt orange and forest green colours making their way onto the runway.
The audience was packed, with Bianca’s sister (and Wentworth hopeful) Allegra Spender sitting with the fashion set on the front row.
Furthering her focus on movement this season, the show included a dance performance mid-runway, cementing the collection in our minds as the perfect summer wedding edit.
marie claire Australia caught up with the designer ahead of her show.
marie claire Australia: Tell us about your vision for this collection – what inspired you?
Bianca Spender: I was thinking a lot about the concept of disruptive beauty. I wanted to explore what it looked like to push the bounds of fashion beyond the expected to really give women their say. This collection hopes to liberate and inspire through optimism, bravery and courage.
In three words, who is the Bianca Spender woman?
Bold. Independent. Dreamer
This collection is 90% deadstock fabrics, breathing new life into material that would otherwise be destined for landfill. How did you find that design process and its particular challenges?
I’ve been passionate about using remnant fabrics for quite some time now. Last year I set a challenge that 50% of the styles in each collection would be made from upcycled fabrics, so I am very proud to be presenting a runway collection made from predominantly deadstock fabrics.
Using deadstock fabrics can have its’ challenges, as there are only limited quantities and options available. Each season I will start with deadstock, to create the basis of the collection and build out the range from there. I use varying design techniques like splicing to ensure I can incorporate what’s available.
As well as opening AAFW, you presented in the gallery dedicated to your late mother. That mix of celebration and grief must be difficult – how has this experience been?
We lost mum just over a year ago, and that has been immensely difficult. I know she would be proud to see me presenting in a space where we have both celebrated and presented so many collections, and she would be proud to see me channelling my grief into a bravery and optimism.
Congratulations on the show. How will you be celebrating?
Thank you! I am particularly looking forward to viewing the First Nations Fashion Designers Closing Runway on Friday evening. I have collaborated with First Nations Designer, Grace Lillian Lee, who won the inaugural Carla Zampatti award for excellence at The Fashion Laureate last year.
It will be a very special moment to see the creation walk the runway for so many reasons.