George Sheppard said it best singing, “ Oh my God, my town is coming alive.”
As the final night of the Brisbane Fashion Festival began with a bang , Sheppard belted out their hit homage to Brisbane, ‘ Coming Home ‘ , with Emma and Amy fashionably fitted out in favourite Brisbane label, White Label Noba. Tonight was a night to celebrate our hometown fashion heroes who have been swimming upstream valiantly trying to get ahead of the pandemic. And celebrate they did with a riot of colour, swirls and sequins.
Tracey Watkins, White Label Noba, gave us a retrospective look at their collections and a sneak peek into their fabulous Spring/ Summer collection filled with my favourite colours of pink and green leading the way. There were party dresses, maxis and gowns with ruffles and pretty patterns perfect for our resort lifestyle and glamorous events. There were cool white lace pieces, orange prints, swirling skirts and perfect palazzo pants. Showstoppers were the ruffled tulle tutu style gowns in fluoro green and hot pink. It was a splash of happiness to light the way. Amy and Emma fittingly strutted their stuff on the runway to applause from the excited crowd.
Calexico came next with their range of relaxed menswear, before the ladies arrived in white sheer, white suits and leather pants paired with silky camis.There were cool checks in yellow and lilac, an eye catching teal sequinned gown , black dresses and leather suiting. For a change of pace the relaxed looks from Naudic boasted ruffles, tiers and feminine florals in their easy to wear styles. Yellow and orange prints gave a nod to the ‘70’s and the cool blue patterns would be perfect for your next trip to the Coast. Hot pink flowing tops and pants caught this pink lover’s eye.
It’s no secret that one of my favourite labels is Maiocchi. With fabulous prints and frocks that fit and flatter, Maiocchi is a ‘ go to ‘ in many Brisbane women’s wardrobes. Dee Mayocchi’s band of marvellous Maiocchi Mavens will be rejoicing to see some of their favourite dress shapes in all new prints and in some of their most coveted colours. This collection called ‘ A Colourful Life’ is based on the Maiocchi branding illustration created by Melbourne artist , Sasha Heath. There are balloon animals, mushrooms, birds and bunny rabbits on the prints, which encapsulates all the thing the label feels we need to live a fun and colourful life. My favourite shaped dress ‘ Cleo’ has bluebirds, although I was tempted by the ‘ Lucinda ‘ in both green or red blossom. Some of the flowing, patchwork and tiered Summer dresses from the runway are coming out later in the year. It was a joyous exploration of colour and print which had many in the fashionable audience smiling.
Brisbane’s Queen of Frocks, Sacha Drake, showed why she is so beloved by Brisbane women with her selection of elegant and ladylike pieces. Many of her designs were gaily paired with broad brimmed hats evoking the feeling of a Summer’s day to warm up the guests. Maxi skirts teamed with crisp white shirts and pieces in shades of yellow, blue and green skipped down the runway. I loved a blue dress with statement sleeves and I could not resist the after five sequinned cocktail dress.There were easy wear culottes, pretty day dresses and plenty of looks for your next ladies lunch or event.
Will Valor has long been Brisbane’s go -to -designer for the latest in Menswear but did you know he has expanded into pants and short suits for women. The cuts are amazing and fabrics are luxe. Want a floral suit? No problems … just choose your fabric and your suit will be made to measure. I loved the metallic tuxedo suite and a bright yellow style. For luxe glamour and sparkle Gina Kim delivered in a riot of ‘60’s glamour. There were one shoulder dresses, white and yellow fitted silhouettes amid plenty of black and white, metallics and pink. Annalise Designs featured small florals, blues and greens and a relaxed vibe. Urbanna shared sharp suiting for men and women and some terrific blazer style dresses.
Gold Coast based designer, Sonia Stradiotto Couture, bought bucketloads of her signature glamour. There were tiered gowns with fitted bodices, plenty of sheer and bright pink and orange combinations. There was sparkle galore with pink sequins and a fabulous floral sequinned suit. There was plenty of classic black and white in exquisite fabrics and shapes. This was event dressing at its finest.
The night finished with a beachy carnival atmosphere and the colourful designs of Bonita Collective. Maxi dresses in an array of beautiful colours, patterns and sequins swirled across the catwalk. Get ready for off the shoulder styles, tiers, dots, ruffles, sequins and a rainbow of colours from this delightfully happy brand. The striped sequinned shoulder tie dress will prove to be one of the most popular of the party season. The dancers all dressed in colourful Bonita beachwear waltzed the audience off into the night.
The first Brisbane Fashion Festival hosted at City Hall proved to be a winner. Trends to watch are definitely midriff baring styles, the colours of pink, green, yellow, white and all shades of blue, sequins , women’s suiting and cutouts and cutaways. Our local fashion labels have a unique take on the Queensland lifestyle and our love of colour, swirl factor and playful fun were all on display at the 2021 Brisbane Fashion Festival. Congratulations to the creative team for a spectacle that Brisbane fashionistas will remember for a very long time.
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!).