The Best Looks From Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Power Runway

Glamour has no age limit.

Each year, Melbourne’s fashion crowd descends on the iconic Royal Exhibition Building for nine days of inspirational talks, celebrating Australian designers, and of course, seeing the latest collections on the runway before shopping their favourite looks. Yes, we’re talking about the Melbourne Fashion Festival, and this year there was one place you wanted to be: the Power Runway, presented by marie claire Australia.

Hundreds of people gathered to see the collections of Carla Zampatti, Mastani, ASIYAM, Oroton, Michael Lo Sordo, Rachel Gilbert and Jason Grech although with the style crowd putting their best fashion foot forward, it was sometimes hard to differentiate between the runway looks and the street style moments.

Featuring a diverse cast of models, styled by Jana Pokorny, the show was a celebration of glamour, tailoring, and the joy in finding your power.

Opening the show was Martin Grant, which Pokorny described as the “ultimate in sophistication”, featuring precision tailoring, exquisite fabrications and understated luxury. The stand out look for both Pokorny and the crowd posting to Instagram? A red jumpsuit paired with a red cape. Watch out for this one on a red carpet soon.

martin grant
Martin Grant. (Credit: Supplied.)

Next was a brand that needs no introduction to Australians: Carla Zampatti. Now helmed by creative director Karlie Ungar, the collection showed why Carla Zampatti has been a mainstay of glamorous Australian women for decades. “The collection was sexy and super stylish,” Pokorny told marie claire, “with great trousers than can take you from day to night”. It was completed with glam gold detailing and gold jewellery from artisan Melbourne jewellers Linden Cook.

carla zampatti
Carla Zampatti. (Credit: Supplied.)

Following Carla was sustainable brand Mastani, featuring “classic pieces in exquisite fabrics and artisanal touches”, according to Pokorny. If you’re after a slip dress that can be styled for work, a date, or drinks with the girls, then look no further.

Mastani. (Credit: Supplied)

Modest fashion label ASIYAM exploded in a frenzy of colour on to the runway next, with a bright green floor length dress complete with matching headscarf to introduce the collection. “It’s a label whose focus is on modest dressing in a confident way, and making clothing that is joyous and elevated,” Pokorny said. 

ASIYAM (Credit: Supplied.)

Another iconic Australian brand, Oroton, was next on the runway, but if you thought you knew what you were getting with this 85-year heritage brand, thank again. “We know Oroton for its beautiful day wear but the edit here was all about dressing up for a night out,” Pokorny said. Its youthful, spirited energy was seen in the olive green bomber jacket, while a white blazer and short set, paried with slingback shows and tights, seemed like a nod to Chanel.

Oroton. (Credit: Supplied)

Michael Lo Sordo followed, giving the audience a taste of elegant evening dressing. (This is the designer who created the Bond dress, after all.) “Whether embellished with plumes or diamantes, this collection celebrated the female form,” Pokorny said, noting that her stand out was a black feather sleeved set and diamante halter top look.

michael lo sordo
Michael Lo Sordo. (Credit: Supplied.)

Rachel Gilbert was the ultimate in party season dressing, with beautifully cut gowns to flatter everyone. “There was a style to suit every shape,” Pokorny said, and no doubt we’ll be seeing these designs at events and red carpets to come.

rachel gilbert
Rachel Gilbert. (Credit: Supplied.)

Jason Grech, who closed the show, was all about drama, according to Pokorny. Featuring bold flowers created in collaboration with bridal headpiece designer Richard Nylon, the collection was power dressing for the red carpet. Sheer fabrics, bold colours, and flowers worthy of Carrie Bradshaw. It was yet again proof that Jason Grech is one of Australia’s most talented couture designers, as those lucky enough to wear his designs — brides and red carpet attendees — can attest.

jason grech
Jason Grech. (Credit: Supplied)

We’ll see you again next year!

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