Come Sunday, the Australian (and international) fashion set will have buffed up their white sneakers and the street-style photographers will be waiting on street corners as the first models hit the catwalk for the opening of 2017’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia resort wear showings. Opening with the fan favourite Dion Lee at the event’s hub of Carriageworks, the week will be brimming with talent, from the industry’s alums that have since grown up and left home (more on that later) to the forays of first timers, as well as highly anticipated sophomore shows (Albus Lumen, anyone?).
Before you start scrolling through the influencer Instagram pages, start here for the crash course in this season’s showings.
This international sensation is celebrating 10 years in the business
Her label, Ellery, is one of only two local labels to be invited to join the prestigious French governing body, the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter, second only to Collette Dinnigan.
Paris-based since January last year, the 34-year-old is returning to her homeland’s stage to celebrate 10 years of success. Considering the busy designer skipped last year due to a busy international schedule, this is a definite highlight.
And almost 15 years have passed since this label last showed
Another notable return to the catwalk is that of sass and bide, the Australian label that made waves in the early noughties. No longer with founders Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke at the helm, head designer Sarah Berman is taking the reins, using Spanish surrealist architect Antoni Gaudí as a jumping off point for the resort collection.
A mainstay is launching a “see now, buy now” function
The whimsy of Alice McCall takes a more serious note this year as the designer launches the event’s first “see now, buy now” opportunity, taking her lead from some international runways where the consumer, not the press, take a front-row buying seat without any need to wait for designs to hit shelves before spending up.
One designer duo has completely reimagined lace
And we can’t wait to see what other innovations the sisters behind MacGraw will send down the runway. Founders Beth and Tess MacGraw took out this year’s International Woolmark Prize with their fine guipure lace made of Australian merino wool, as opposed to traditional cotton or polyester. While the collection isn’t expected to feature too much wool (it is resort wear, after all), we’re keen to see what new imaginings this duo has ready for us.
There’s some serious talent waiting in the wings
It’s not just the established designers that offer the most interest this year. Thanks to the Innovators Show, which annually showcases up-and-coming talent in the form of TAFE graduates making waves, there are more than a few young guns to keep your eyes on. Our favourite? The perfectly pretty chaos of Amelia Akle, a Fashion Design Studio graduate (see below).