On a grey Sydney day, the fashion set converged on Carriageworks to welcome Afterpay Australian Fashion Week for 2022. The day began with a stirring Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, before attendees headed off to their favourite fashion shows, talks and workshops. She Society will be there from May 9 – 13 to bring you all the best new resort fashion for 2023. We’ll find the best street style, new trends and fashion forward looks from some of Australia’s most talented designers.
After last year’s street style tending towards neutral and suiting this year feels a lot more playful. Street style showed us a riot of colour with hot pink, orange, fluoro green and yellow some of the standout colours. Colourful Jacquemus bags in bright pops adorned many wrists and hats and berets topped many well coiffed women and men. It seems to be the year of the mid heel boot or sneakers as footwear of choice. White boots were big once again.
Any suiting was oversized and playful with lilacs and pinks the choice for many. Colour blocking was everywhere and provided a spirit of joy despite the dreary day. Pants were fluid and skirts were either voluminous or pencil straight leather and pleather.
In the crowd were buyers, models, influencers, media and celebrities. I spied Kellie Hush alighting from a Porsche. Porsche is one of the sponsors this year, so there is plenty of automotive fashion to drool over as well. I’m sure many will aspire to the new Porsche electric car as their dream car. There were MAFS stars, artist Ken Done, Erin holland was a vision in blue and fashion designers like Jordan Gogos, Liandra Gaykamangu and Bianca Spender were seen throughout the day.
Bianca Spender’s Opening Show was upbeat with floating, flowing dresses, suiting with a twist and unexpected colour combos. Bondi Born was laidback and uniquely Australian. Filled with covetable swimsuits and a casual edge to its pieces it was the stuff that Aussie wardrobes are made of. Smiles were all around for the colourful and over the top designs from the collaboration of Romance Was Born and iconic artist, Ken Done. There was nothing understated with luxe fabrics, ruffle upon ruffle, sequins, feathers and metallic looks. These were clothes for those who like to be noticed.
In the afternoon we attended the first of ‘The Talks’ titled Empowering Voices, where a panel including Adaptive Clothing’s Jessie Sadler and indigenous designer, Liandra from Liandra Swim, discussed diversity in the fashion industry. It’s an important conversation which has at least begun in some small way in the fashion industry. In many ways it brought up more questions than answers and will require further conversation and investigation.
The day ended with a glamorous star studded fashion show from Bec + Bridge. Bec + Bridge’s styles drew inspiration from the 90’s with a grunge glamour look. One of my icons, the gorgeous Courtney Love, was the original embodiment of this look. Think back to look forwards with raw hems, chunky cargo pants and slinky slip dresses. Many pieces were derived from the Bec + Bridge archives. There were sheers and torsos aplenty on the catwalk so prepare to party like it is 1999, if you dare!
So what’s my take on Day One. Fashion is fun and playful. Blazers are in for any age. Pants are voluminous. Blazer dresses look great and everyone will be wearing bras or cropped tops and blazers with their oversized pants and voluminous skirts. Cut outs and cutaways are still everywhere as are white boots. Pink jeans rock! But I already knew that I have three pairs.
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!).