Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2014 by Jo Bayley

Day One of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia kicked off with a bang!

It all started with an amuse bouche on Sunday night from designer doyenne, the ever so stylish Carla Zampatti, showcasing 49 years in the fickle business of fashion.

This show proved once again why this first lady of Australian fashion is still here, in an age where many designers have unfortunately folded.

The who’s who of the fashion mafia shook off their raincoats and descended on the Carriage Works in Sydney at Redfern, for a week of sartorial fantasy, the good, the sometimes bad, but never boring.

Will this year, 2014, provide a bountiful buffet on the trend table?

Over this week I’ll be keeping you posted on all the news from the front line!

Carla Zampatti started the very wet evening with monochrome magic.

Beautiful, modern and industrial was the theme of the night.

Divine dewy make up by Maybelline, and wet and shiny hair using “stand tough” gel by Redken set the tone for a stunning show.

The opening look, worn by Brisbane Born model Nicole Pollard, was sexy and strong.

Plunging necklines, flares and shoulder pads gave a nod to Zampatti’s start in 1965, just fabulous!

I WANT those pants, cut from a knifes edge.

Metallic belts, boat necks, cut out details were all showcased.

I particularly loved her reworked oversized blazer, very clever.

Lace, satin, sheers and even brightly hued marabou chubbys ( bomber jackets), provided a pop of colour in a sea of black and white.

All in all, it was a classy show with nods to each of the five decades Ms Zampatti has been part of the industry.

Aurelio Costarella, the boy from Western Australia, is also a veteran of the catwalk.

Chalking up 30 years in the industry, his collection “ Solaire” was sublime.

Inspired by the works of photographer Man Ray and the eclectic style of his muses Kiki de Montparnasse, Tamara de Lempika, Nancy Cunard, Lee Miller and Juliette, Costarella showed excellent technique with sequins, feathers and knife edge pleating.

The opening piece, a bodysuit worthy of Gypsy Rose Lee or Dita Von Teese, was an absolute show stopper in my opinion.

This was followed by leather shorts and a feathered tank, delicate sequinned and feathered sheath dresses, full length gowns with feather caplets, structured bustiers and relaxed silk playsuits.

M.A.C director of makeup artistry James Molloy created the “decadent beauty of the ’20’s and 30’s, with richly toned eyes in antiqued shades.”

Incorporating “Swarovski elements, it channelled Man Ray beautifully. Lee Preston for Goldwell, and colours created by Liam Baxter, made the hair a stand out feature, vibrant colour swatches to compliment each piece were impressive.

I also loved the exquisitely embellished bangles from Sally Skoufis, perfectly styled.

All in all, I loved this show, my favourite look being a floor length strapless  sheath with metallic details. I couldn’t fault a thing.

It has been a strong intro for 2014 Fashion Week and I can’t wait to report on the following days.

Now that’s all behind me, tomorrow I’m of to the Pullman Suites, off site one on one with some very special designers. I hope you will join me!

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

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