One of my favourite shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) in Sydney this year was New Generation.
I can’t think of a better way to uncover amazing new talent and this year was exceptional.
Sponsored by St George it’s an excellent initiative for the fashion industry heavyweights to drink in the creativity of what could be Australia’s next big thing.
After all Joan Burstein from Browns scooped up Akira Isogawa’s first solo show in 1997, when he couldn’t even afford to purchase shoes, and sent his models down the runway wearing red socks! ‘
He cleverly referenced this in his show this year, only he designed the socks.
Let’s not forget that he was part on the 1996 New Generation show, how’s that for pedigree.
This year it was all about “sisters do it for themselves”, with all six designers featured being the fairer sex.
So let’s get this party started because, trust me, you will be hearing these names very soon.
First up was the marvellous Mariam Seddiq.
I was fortunate enough to meet this lovely lady last year at the Pullman Suites and was so impressed with her collection; I couldn’t believe she wasn’t on the runway.
Thank goodness smart sense prevailed, and here she is in 2015 opening the show! Here is someone who has a strong sense of self, both in design and personality.
Expressing a tribal flare, her design aesthetic is a juxtaposition of structured tailoring, fluid drapery and tasteful hand embellishment.
Her pieces portray an inherent strength, while being incredibly feminine, and are beautifully finished.
The hand beading is sublime, glamour without tizz and clean lines keep the look in check.
Don’t be surprised if this lady is name checked at awards season, this is red carpet style at its finest.
Casper and Pearl, created by Stacey Hendrickson in 2011 was next up.
Painterly prints in feminine colours worked beautifully with relaxed shapes.
Quite a “sports luxe” feels to this collection.
My favourite look from this collection was a cream turtle neck knit with an asymmetrical hem line teamed with red and white striped slouch pants, very cool.
POL by Sam Jones had a sexy resort vibe.
Delicately woven knits made up the bulk of this collection.
The silhouettes were relaxed, with a slight ’70’s vibe.
I could see these pieces being highly accessible to women of all ages.
My favourite look, it had to be the real three pieces, consisting of a deep V camisole top, slouch pants and an unstructured blazer.
Love it all!
House Of Cannon established in 2013 by Annie Cannon-Brooke’s show entitled Zoic Zhucheng offered a collection of statement prints, bold colours and feminine silhouettes.
Zhucheng in Eastern China claims to be the home of more skeletal dinosaur species than anywhere else in the world, and with that in mind Annie created some fabulously original prints.
I just loved the fun pop art style of her designs.
T-Rex and Chinese temples were just some of bold images interpreted on silk.
I really enjoyed the colour palette of silver, lavenders and blues complimented by strong red.
All in all, a really promising collection.
Vanessa Moe‘s styling was amazing.
Sending models down the runway with incredible sculpted Perspex headpieces, chokers and cuffs was edgy and clever.
The audience was enthralled by the drama.
Using fine fabrics in classic colours worked beautifully with elegant craftsmanship.
Excellent technique in contemporary design.
Michelle Aznavorian is the creative behind Misha Collection.
Sexy and strong was the order of the day on this runway.
Ruching, draping and cut outs provided the platform for a cohesive collection.
White, champagne, blush and black worked fantastically well with these silhouettes.
Michelle knows how to dress a woman.
These six women sent out collections they can all be extremely proud of. If this is the tip of the sartorial iceberg then I can only begin to imagine what lies beneath.
With industry backing these designers can introduce themselves to a wider audience, perfect for building a profile.
The Australian fashion industry needs to evolve and be on the world stage, without these fresh designers we will be left behind.
So, come on Australia, let’s get behind our cache of clothiers.
We are world class after all!
Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
All images by Jo Bayley: Fashion Elixir