The Best Moments From The First 48 Hours Of MBFWA

AKA everything you need to seee

Mercedes-Benz Presents Camilla and Marc 

When you have the cavernous Royal Hall of Industries in Sydney, a budget backed by Mercedes-Benz and a 15th anniversary to celebrate it makes sense to show everything that you can do.

For the opening show of the week Camilla Freeman-Topper and her brother Marc Freeman demonstrated just how far they’ve come since 2003 and that there’s more to success than a blazer and logo T-shirt.

There was innovation with fabrication, with exquisite jacquards, a plaited leather skirt that hugged the bottom before finishing in a riot of straps, the skinniest of pants, boxy blazers and molten evening dresses.

With every exit it became clearer that Camilla and Marc can now dress you from top-to-toe, with suede over-the-knee boots and gigantic handbags that could easily double as body bags.

Sure the Martian landscape didn’t make sense but who cares when the collection is so down to earth.

camilla and marc

Albus Lumen

Like a palate cleanser for the onslaught of local labels, designer Marina Fonina served soothing ochre, olives and pale blues in sinuous suits with shell buttons, tunics and elegant evening gowns.

Pablo Picasso was the prism through which Fonina explored practical solutions for dressing like a muse every day.  The brush strokes were broad but every piece exuded wearability, especially a jumbo corduroy suit with trousers cut in a boyfriend style.

It’s clear why Albus Lumen is the Australian stylist’s choice for the type of minimalism offered by Naricso Rodriguez in New York.

albus lumen

Bianca Spender

There’s a #metoo moment happening, with collections that offer empowerment and sensuality. – without the XXX sexiness. Intelligent and experienced designers like Bianca Spender know how to tap into the Zeitgeist without compromising their aesthetic.

Unexpected twists and ties on collared, long-sleeved dresses, buttery jumpsuits and skirts with modesty panels beneath languid splits offered a beguiling take on career woman dressing.

The palate was like the tastiest end of gelato store, with nutty shades, splashes of spearmint, blood orange and pristine whites. There were even licorice all-sorts stripes for the gluten intolerant.

It felt like the early ‘80s, without as many shoulder pads. You’ve come a long way baby.


Lee Mathews

Architecture and sustainability hardly get the juices flowing in the front row but Lee Mathews newly appointed head designer Natalia Grzybowksi laid the foundations for a resort collection that was intriguingly unsettling.

Simple shirt dressing, parachute skirts with rounded pockets and rip cords, wide legged white pants gave way unexpectedly to oversized gingham, murky florals and dresses that combined everything in a clashing patchwork.

The collection tapped into issues of responsibility with natural textiles but there was bravery alongside the worthiness that deserved clean air kudos.

lee matthews

Anna Quan

By now we know that Anna Hoang can do far more than the exquisite shirting that put her label Anna Quan on every fashion editor’s radar. The problem is that with every collection the shirting that excels.

In this case, it was primary coloured shirts with white stitching in Western motifs that stood out from the crisp, white pack. Of course, white dresses in rumpled faux Fortuny fabrics, high-waisted trousers worthy of Lauren Hutton and classic blue and white stripes all appeal but even the Anna Quan formal take on the peasant blouse can’t stop us from wanting to button up every day.

anna quan

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