Chanelling rockstars of a bygone era, models took to the runway with thick, kohl rimmed eyes and tousled tresses at last night’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Premium Runway 5, presented by Harper’s Bazaar Australia. Be “strong, intelligent, and the beholder of all secrets” were the backstage instructions as an army of well heeled, high fashion clad beauties stormed the runway.
Christopher Esber opened the show with an asymmetric tan dress that hung boxy from the shoulders to the knee. Design was relaxed, but innovative- a pair of black draped pants, for example, appeared tailored on one leg whilst they hung like a skirt off the other, wrapping delicately at the waist. Black leather gloves and thigh high boots added some old school sex appeal to black on black looks. As is the appeal of Christopher Esber, each element was countered by its opposite- a seemingly conservative black roll neck sweater is turned to reveal a sultry open back, while stiff burgundy leather is juxtaposed with sheer wine hued silk.
Yeojin Bae continued to redefine “desk to dinner” dressing with a line of midi length dresses and full power suits, each with their own after-5 details. Cut out shoulder details and a deep square neckline grace two black dresses respectively, while a blue blazer is shown with both a matching midi skirt and a pair of trousers- the perfect mix and match three piece. Black is the order of the day, with splashes of cool nude and cobalt blue blocked into a sprinkling of looks.
Martin Grant, fresh from showing at Paris Fashion Week, presented an elegant edit of mostly pencil silhouettes- with a few flourishes. A fitted grey textured bustier teamed with a voluminous navy knee length skirt caught our eye, as did an overtly sexy figure hugging maxi with both a thigh high split and a deep low back.
Carla Zampatti’s Autumn/Winter curation oozed 1960s-esque glamour from start to finish. Wide brim hats and luxe fur shawls in crisp white became lust-have accessories when teamed with a graphic black and white coat, black flared trousers or white silk shirts.
A closing collection from fashion powerhouse Alex Perry hammered home the glamour of the evening. A predominantly monochrome collection punctuated with candy pinks and mustard yellows gave classic lace a new lease on life. A boxy silver crop teamed with a matching flip mini was an example of Perry’s wholly feminine design aesthetic.
Images by Theo Cipriano