MBFWA 2014 – My Notes From The Pullman Suites by Jo Bayley

Not every designer can showcase their wares on the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, so the governing body gives selected applicants a chance at an off site location.

This year, media and buyers could preview some amazing new talent at The Pullman Suites, in College Street, opposite Sydney’s stunning Hyde Park.

This is a great opportunity for up and coming designers to wade into the sometimes murky waters of fashion. Fashion week can be a very glamorous experience to the outside world.

While being very rewarding for the designers, it also is an expensive and exhausting process, one that is very fickle at times.

I spent a morning viewing some very exciting new talent, two of whom I will share with you now.

First up is the sensational swimwear duo Juliet Bakos and Joseph Romano of the label “Jewels + Grace” . The “Brave New World” collection was just that, world class in every way.

Juliet had studied architecture (just like our other favourite Roksanda Ilincic), and had also been designing and making swimwear for herself.

As can happen when you have a natural talent, friends soon begged her to make pieces for them. This collections leaves no doubt as to why, I was begging for a cozzie by the time I left!

Fabulous construction, made in Australia using Italian fabrics, these pieces reminded me of the brilliant Brazillian cuts that fit so well.

And don’t we all want a fantastic cut in our swimwear.

As Joseph pointed out to me “the difference a few millimetres make here and there is paramount”, and he is so right.

Have you ever tried on a piece and thought, if only it were a little higher at the leg, lower on the hip or a touch wider on the strap?

Classic sharp black and crisp white is elevated by deep burgundy and fresh turquoise.

Balconette bra tops (my fave!), sexy mesh and sophisticated one pieces that can go straight from beach to bar for sunset drinks.

Hello Cannes!

Touches of raw metal add a tough edge, sleek lines and intricate details keep the look grounded and highly accessible. The structure is fantastic.

This is the first collection from Jewels+Grace, and after what I saw it certainly will be one of many.

Would love to see them on the runway next year.

Sylvie Markovina not only forged her stunning collection Exiled Artist 2014/15, she managed to be tweeted by the infamous Kim Kardashian.

She was a delight to encounter, and so was her collection, a breath of fresh air in the mercurial world of fashion

Talk about productive!

I could sense Sylvie’s passion when she spoke about her jewellery.

She has a degree in fine arts and a master of design (UNSW).

Quality is paramount to her, and this is reflected in every piece

Her pieces have a wonderful weight to them and some even appear to “float” on the skin.

Delicacy with an inner strength, maybe rather like the creator herself.

After designing for Kirrily Johnstone in 2006, she launched her first solo collection in 2010.

Her rose headband has a medieval feel, a la “Game of Thrones”.

Feminine with a tough edge, it would look amazing on singer Lorde.

Lapis, the divine deep blue stone with golden inclusions that shimmer like stars in a dark blanket of night, crisp white Howlite, an elegant marble like gemstone and pearls, the oldest known gems are just a few examples materials used.

They are all set in silver, brass and rose gold.

I think I tried on every piece and could have left with nearly all of it.

Just loved the 3 piece long chain which moved with a slinky undulation.

Rings, cuffs, neckpieces and headbands, these are classics for anyones style.

Worn by the likes of Miranda Kerr, Florence Welch of “Florence and the Machine”, and Kim Kardashian who infamously tweeted her “Laneway” rings, Sylvie Markovina has a wide audience.

Her work is published in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Instyle to name a few, and has been photographed by legendary Mario Testino for V Magazine.

I’m sure you may have spotted one and thought “who is that by?”

Now you’ll know who made these regal gems.

Keep an eye out for these amazing pieces that in my mind are timeless, and would finish any fashion look perfectly.

There was more at the Pullman that I experienced, including my favourite new discovery of the week Mariam Seddiq.

I will be sharing her story with you in the near future.

But for the upcoming weeks it is all about this years Met Exhibition “Charles James Beyond Fashion” and The Met Ball. Who will be wearing what and how fabulous will it all be!!

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

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