Must-See Moments From MBFWA Day 4

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Romance Was Born

Judy Garland impersonators, Sydney’s hottest restaurant Hubert and the brilliant minds behind Romance Was Born combined magically for the most fantastic show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia so far.

While other labels have focused on showing clothes, clothes and more clothes, Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett created an entire, debauched world for their Opal Goddess resort collection. 

“Our mutual appreciation of each other’s’ work led us to collaborate with our long-term friend Jenny Kee, and revisit some of her classic prints in a new way,” explains Luke Sales. Anna Plunket adds, “We’ve always been interested in goddesses and Xanadu, and the inspiration and strength that they provide to women. Alongside the mysticism of opals, this spirit is at the core of the new collection.”

The results were fresh and floaty pieces with a bohemian flavour and art nouveau feel at times, where the intricacies came through with inventive print rather than over-the-top embellishment.  Meanwhile, Kee’s iconic prints feel fresher than ever.

Even with a theatrical approach, the clothes were made for women willing to take a starring role in everyday life. 

romance was born


In a very short time Acler has become a fashion force to be reckoned with, stocked in countless stores and with a fan base including Beyonce and our own Jennifer Hawkins. 

This show had something for everyone, from the paneled ‘70s style prairie dresses and cropped tops on every runway, to pearl-encrusted net skirts for luxury-minded fisherwomen and hot pink, one-shouldered dresses.

There was even a coat resembling a doona for those days you really don’t feel like getting out of bed.

With one show Kathryn Forth and Julia Ritorto managed to demonstrate the broad span of their abilities. The one true focused moment was at the end when the hard-working pair took their bows, wearing the clothes with enough polished perfection to (almost) outshine Bae herself.


Next Gen

The next generation is often overlooked in the traffic jam of street style stars and established labels at fashion week but the future appears to be in safe hands where Gina Snodgrass and Chris Ran Lin are concerned. 

Chris Ran Lin specialises in menswear but in the same way that Hedi Slimane’s collections for Dior Homme were rifled by Hollywood women such as Nicole Kidman, his bold knitwear is crying out for Cate Blanchett’s stylist’s rack.

A nubbly jacket with bright yellow details is the working girl’s Chanel alternative and the crystal-fringed straps on knitwear steal the spotlight. A crimson coat with buttons down the sleeve had aesthete’s swooning.


Snodgrass was also playing with gender by sending some of the week’s most exciting womenswear, with lace bonding on classic suiting pieces, worn by male models. Look beyond the chiseled jaws for evening wear with flair. 



Designer Roopa Pemmaraju burst onto the Australian fashion week many seasons ago with a stellar collection and then got lost in the mix of hot newcomers. It’s understandable from a woman dedicated to slow fashion but her Padma collection puts her back in the fast lane.

All of the trend hits were here with ruffled gowns, jumpsuits and embellished silk coats but these were created through the unique filter of Nepalese prints and detailing. Prints clashed in a frenzied force while Lotus prints soothed your third eye.

International influences such as saris and hand beading felt like cultural exploration rather than exploitation. It’s the thinking and compassionate It girl’s approach to being one step closer to fashion Nirvana.


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