When I heard that runway shows were coming back in a COVID safe form for Brisbane Fashion Month I was more than excited. I purchased a ticket straight away and invited my fashionista friend, Kerri from Brisbane Designer Hire for Women and Kabana Shop, along as my guest. To see real models strutting their stuff on the catwalks again was like a dream come true. I had missed my fashion week fixes in Sydney, Paris Haute Couture Week and Brisbane because of the virus and I had thought real time fashion shows would not be back until at least next year.
Now there was a bright spot on my horizon.Thanks to stylist, Laura Churchill, events were going ahead and the parade I was going to see showed the work of eight designers, both established and emerging in my hometown of Brisbane. Local labels included SFH designs, Maiocchi, Rowdy the Label, Jericho Road, Kiara- Bella Designs, Anannasa, Red Ridge the Label and Annalise Designs. All were so very different but all were suited to our Queensland climate.
First to walk were the designs of Sarah Hutson from SFH Designs. Sarah’s designs are beloved by Brisbane fashionistas as she puts the fun back into fashion. Sarah says, “ I love to find joy in colour and fabrics that I wear. I love unique finds and traditional fabrics which inspire me to create and mix it up a bit. I enjoy sustainable styling and hunting for that right piece at the fashion markets. “
SFH Designs standouts on the day were a playful red gingham maxi dress and bespoke embellished denim jackets draped over the shoulders of slinky slip dresses. I also loved the tiered skirts in clashing patterns. It was a joyous way to start the parade. You can find SFH Designs Boutique in New Farm.
An exciting new find for me was Red Ridge the Label who have been working closely with Laura this year to launch their fashion brand. This new label shines a spotlight on Western Queensland Aboriginal artists. The debut collection highlights artwork from Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi women – Aulpunda ‘Jean’ Barr -Crombie and Anpanuwa ‘ Joyce’ Crombie from Birdsville. Diamantina is their first collection, which features two compelling silk prints interpreted in natural fibre garments. Co- ordinating plain linens compliment the silk print pieces while a range of handbags and accessories complete the collection.
The team from Red Ridge the Label are passionate about ensuring authenticity throughout all areas of the label, which includes having all garments and accessories made locally. I loved the beautiful silk dresses and subdued but warm palette. I could easily see some of these elegant pieces finding a home in my wardrobe. Welcome to the runway Red Ridge!
It’s no secret that I love Maiocchi designs and I wore my Maiocchi green floral jumpsuit to the fashion show to support this local label. It was in 2001 that Deanne Mayocchi was searching for the perfect dress. Frustrated that she couldn’t find the fun, flattering and fabulous dresses that she wanted to wear, Deanne put her design expertise into action and Maiocchi the fashion label was born. Maiocchi have a loyal band of marvellous Maiocchi mavens who eagerly await each new release.
In the parade Dee showed off her new ‘Paper Dolls’ collection which features Japanese inspired paper doll designs in a range of colourful dresses, tops and skirts. I was very excited to have a sneak peek of what’s coming for Summer and Dee did not disappoint. There was a covetable drop waist green lace dress perfect for Christmas Day, tiered and ruffled tropical print dresses, the blue gingham version of one of Dee’s bestsellers, The Lucinda Dress and some exciting leopard tropical print skirts and scarves. Dee herself was wearing a fabulously colourful Emily Reversible Wrap Dress in their upcoming Fruitto print. Maiocchi was, as always, a colourful and very wearable addition to the runway.
Another cult favourite is the label, Jericho Road , from sisters Chloe and Kate. I loved the pink and gingham skirt and top combo and beautiful pink dress. Jericho Road are known for their playful patterns and they introduced us to their new wombat print ‘Wombie’ in a range of styles. They also showed jellyfish print swimsuits and an interesting playsuit in rust. A standout for me was the white based shirt dress with coloured spots, a great addition to any wardrobe. This fabric adorned a range of styles and was fresh and fun.
Trends to note for Summer are tribal, tropical and white. Look for gingham, spots and playful prints. There is plenty of red and green coming through, perfect for the Christmas season. Pink is still having its moment in the sun. Look for tiers, ruffles and feminine shapes this Summer. Maxi dresses and shirt dresses are still strong shapes for the upcoming season , and the dropped waist dress is back.
Hats are as big as you can find, which is perfect for a Queensland summer. Headwear as an accessory will be not just for Melbourne Cup Day but for every day. It’s heating up here in Brisbane and the Brisbane Fashion Month West Village Fashion Runway showed us that there is so much talent, hope and energy in our local fashion scene. We are in for a feminine, floaty and playful take on Summer in the strange year that is 2020.
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!).