Brisbane turned on another beautiful night for the second day of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane. Ensconced in a cosy corner of the Fashion Bar at Mr Percival’s we were in prime position to watch the local fashionistas arrive. There was plenty of White Label Noba, with the green animal print a standout favourite for many. Kath Rose was stunning in a hot pink White Label Noba gown paired with leopard. Di Cant, stylist, sparkled in sequins. Brooke (What Brooke Wore) was the epitome of pretty in a pink and green fitted dress. All too soon, we had to ditch the champagne flutes and head to the stunning venue in Howard’s Hall. Every seat has a wonderful view of the catwalk due to the staggering of tiers and from our bright white seats we could view more fashionable looks arriving, as well as spy the iconic Story Bridge.
Soon it was time for the real star to arrive, Australian Fashion. Aje was the first on the catwalk with some wearable black and white staples in great shapes with flare jeans, skirts and wide leg trousers. There was a beautiful silk dress in shades of cream through to red, pink and black which was so elegant. The Calypso ruffled bubble tops were fun. Aje encapsulated the mood of Surfers Paradise, interlaced with a heady dash of nineties glamour. One of the standout collections for me!
Elizabeth O ‘ Connor – Cowley’s accessory brand article: wowed the audience with their collection of pochettes, handbags and hand painted paper dresses designed in the style of Andy Warhol. The brand’s success is even more amazing as article: is only six months old. I am lucky enough to own the grande pochette in ballet pink and many people were admiring her sleek lines and functionality last night. Elizabeth’s models were full of sass and drama and showcased the accessories perfectly. A lovely showing which was so well received!
Ginger & Smart had the most perfect hot pink dress, a red pleated showstopper and a black and white knit which we all coveted. Burnt orange, green, playful prints and red dresses were lovely.
Local ‘Fashion on the Fields’ winner Lindsay Ridings debuted her first feminine collection filled with romantic prints, sparkles, giant bows and classic 50’s inspired silhouettes. I can see many fashionable ladies wearing her looks to race days and ladies lunches. If Lindsay brought old fashioned elegance, Bonita Collections definitely brought the fun.Their boho looks in vibrant colours and relaxed shapes are perfect for a summer’s day. There were kaftans, shorts with cute off the shoulder tops, fun two toned pants with a banana print, gorgeous ruffled printed maxi skirts and lovely sundresses. The models were joyful wearing huge sunnies and earrings and waving colourful maracas. For those who like their fashion big and bold then this collection is for you.
Alice McCall had plenty of shorts and playsuits for the young and young at heart, with purple, pale pink and blue a big part. The pale pink gingham and the lovely white dresses were my favourites here.
The biggest cheer of all came for local Brisbane favourite White Label Noba. Tracey Watkins was sitting front and centre watching her marvellous creations glide along the white catwalk. First was a ruffled pale pink gown with a high neck. It was such a statement piece. A liquid green and pink maxi was next , before the white lace pants and top which we had all loved at the lunch the day before. I can see this being a popular Christmas outfit. There was a sheer orange blouse paired with metallic yellow shorts. A lovely flowing white lace dress was perfect for sipping cocktails in The Maldives and my favourite was a mega colourful floral orange and purple pantsuit with an overskirt, very 60’s especially when accessorised with huge hoop earrings and matching turban. There was lots of hot pink, orange and purple and combinations of all three. It was a colourful and elegant collection perfect for our long, hot Australian Summer.
The show’s finale showcased the work of Bianca Spender who highlighted one shoulder looks and mismatched fabric combinations , think gingham with floral. There were fluid relaxed pleats, ruffles and twists in blues, greens , orange and red. I loved the pleated cream knit dress with batwing sleeves.
The buzz around the hall was electric as the audience streamed out into the crisp Brisbane night chattering about their favourites. Heading back to the fashion bar we could congratulate the designers who were celebrating after such a successful event and enjoying the fruits of all their hard work. Such an eclectic mix of designers! There really was something for every woman’s taste, style and shape in this Australian brand Group Show. I’m confident that Australian fashion is as good as any I’ve seen around the world and the striking colours and interesting shapes reflect our lifestyle more than ever before. Tomorrow I’ll be focusing on our designers of the future with the Next Gen Show.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).