Brisbane Fashion Festival Designer Group Show

August 28, 2023

The last event on the Brisbane Fashion Festival calendar was the Designer Group Show. This glamorous affair attracted a well-dressed audience, all eager to sample the collections of some of the South East’s favourite designers. The fabulous fashion of Sonia Stradiotto Couture opened the show. Naudic, Sacha Drake, Mea Culta, Shilolydia, POL, I Am My Husband’s Mistress by Sonia Stradiotto, Astille, Joaen and White Label Noba soon followed, with a finale of couture looks from Gina Kim. 

After sipping champagne with fashion friends at the Epicure Bar, we took our seats on a beautiful Brisbane night, to be entertained by the talented Luke Kennedy. Luke’s rendition of Heroes nearly raised the roof of the marquee and built excitement for the fashions to come. 

First up was Sonia Stradiotto Couture a label which started on the Gold Coast, but whose fashions are now seen everywhere from black tie weddings to gala events and racing carnivals. Her designs are worn by some of Queensland’s most fashionable women and men. Thinks sequins, feathers, ruffles and tulle, Sonia has some of the best occasion wear around. The black and white story was a standout for me and you know I always love a sequin. 

For more casual pieces Naudic brought the goods with their patterned dresses, separates and Resort-wear. With its bold and playful designs this label is perfect for our Queensland lifestyle. The easy silhouettes will be just right for your next getaway now that the weather is warming up.

One of my all-time favourites is Sacha Drake, which was the label I was wearing on the night. Lovely lotus flower print dresses in hot pink had the audience entranced and the va – va voom occasion pieces in lurex were designed to fit and flatter. It was a lovely collection for Spring filled with pops of colour plus big, bold prints from one of Brisbane’s best loved designers. The bonus for this writer was when Sacha spotted me leaving and noticed I was wearing her label. It generated a big smile from the designer. 

New – to me – labels were POL, Joaen and Mea Culta. POL offers your basics but with an elevated everyday style. The POL designs fill that gap in the market with everyday clothing that is contemporary, beautiful and original. Joaen (pronounced Joan) is a conscious, intergenerational and harmonious label with pieces designed to have longevity in your wardrobe. I loved the neutral palette and timeless well-cut pieces in this collection. Mea Culta is an interesting label which is fashion forward but feminine. With fine fabrics, custom prints and high quality the looks from this brand were whimsical and allowed the wearer to be as sensual as she liked. Sheer blouses could be worn alone or with something underneath for a different occasion. This new label from Cyan Reign felt modern and fresh.

ShiloLydia also brought a freshness with pastels, lots of white and romantic floral motifs. Each garment in this collection is uniquely repurposed with little waste; the original piece disrupted and highlighted. I loved the interesting structural elements which made these pieces works of art. I have long admired Astille Designs for Sally’s use of luxe fabrics and her on point and timeless styling. This collection began with an eye – catching and perfectly proportioned orange dress just made to be worn for a dinner in Noosa or Santorini. Separates to covet, plus pretty dresses in yellow, print and pink made this ladylike collection one that all fashionable Brisbane ladies will be wearing this Spring. 

White Label Noba is a Brisbane success story with a loyal following. This collection featured lots of white, which is a signature of the designer, Tracey Watkins. Pink, green and pretty floral maxi dresses, with just the right amount of swish, are perfect for our climate and your next event. Bespoke pieces including a frothy two-piece wedding dress completed this exciting collection. 

The risque new label from Sonia Stradiotto is aptly titled I Am My Husband’s Mistress. Think black and red lace, sheer, ruffles, feathers and total glam and you have this new label which officially launched tonight. Sonia’s aim is to keep couples together and ensure you are the only woman he sees when you walk into a room. It is sensuous and rare collectible clothing for the confident woman. 

Our finale was the gorgeous glitz and glamour that is created by Gina Kim. These designs are special with a capital “S”. They enhance a woman’s natural beauty and are cut to highlight a woman’s best features. Loved by celebrities, but equally at home at your next gala event, Gina’s latest collection shared looks of figure-hugging pink lurex, feathers, sequins and foil in metallics, pink of every hue and citrus. A terrific end to an evening of luxe looks from some of Brisbane’s best designers. 

The atmosphere at this year’s Brisbane Fashion Festival was electric with many of these brands having weathered a storm in the past few years. It’s important to support our local brands and retailers to keep our local vibrant fashion industry alive. The clothes are made for our environment, sharing the Queensland love of colour and beautiful fabrics. Here’s cheers to another successful year for the tireless Lindsay Bennett, Kimberly Gardner and the BFF team.


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