A celebration of Australia’s most iconic designers, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Designer Runway Three featured pieces selected from some of the fashion industry’s best, plus the latest designer menswear collections. Tonight wasn’t simply a celebration of fashion, it was a celebration of culture. This evening’s soundtrack consisted of powerful live vocal and violin performances by The Raah Project; locals with a love for their craft, not dissimilar to this evening’s creative fashion talent.

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Opening the show with understated femininity was Akira Isogawa. Silhouettes were draped and voluminous, and intricate origami folding was in abundance. Working with a varied colour palette ranging from deep violet, gentle peach, sunburst yellow and dark dusty rose, a workable collection of separates made way for 2 spectacular bridal gowns. Akira’s designs complement and move with the female form, flattering the bust and gently skimming the rest of the body.

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Arthur Galan’s mens and womenswear collections were polar as opposites in terms of colour, however each piece demonstrated that attention to detail and expert craftsmanship signature to the AG name. Men’s suiting took centre stage in pop pink, bright orange and vibrant cobalt, certainly not for the feint hearted. Womenswear was entirely monochrome in the form of  high necked maxi dresses, mod minis and fringed separates.

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Yeojin Bae’s summer offering opened with a selection of hot pink dresses. A colour traditionally associated with overt femininity, Bae has reworked pink into highly structured, form fitting cocktail wear giving the colour a much needed edge. The collected had a somewhat ‘office to cocktail hour’ sensibility; hemlines were dropped to the knee, necks were high and shoulders were bare. The range featured a number of Spring Carnival appropriate LBDs; an item with which one can never go wrong. Despite the architectural cuts of the range; Bae’s summer collection is still frivolous; when the wearer walks, splits in the garments move with the body revealing pops of colour in the lining of simple black garments.

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Intricate embellishment in a multitude of colourways has become synonymous with the Megan Park name. Her summer collection featured heavily beaded shifts and dresses crafted in the most bohemian of printed silks. A stunning chartreuse party frock screamed sunshine, while luxe printed kaftans epitomised resort glamour.

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If it hadn’t been heavily suggested by Arthur Galan AG earlier in the show, it was cemented by Calibre; colour on men is back in a big way. Not a black suit in sight, Calibre presented us with splashes of red teamed back with monochromes before moving into more versatile separates in tan, stone and dark mocha hues. A selection of navy pieces showcased the label’s versatility, primarily their ability to dress a man for any occasion.

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Melbourne designer Alexi Freeman is certainly not afraid to play with busy prints and neon hues, presenting a playful collection with a throwback to the psychedelic 60s. Bright python prints are key to the range, and a neon yellow leather a-line mini gave fluro a modern edge. For those of us who aren’t quite ready to embrace head to toe brights just yet, a black silk maxi featuring a highlighter-hued print from the knee down is the ideal, and very chic, baby step into full-on colour.

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Folk infused and dream like were ideas resonating through Nevenka’s beautiful spring looks. A highlight of the evening, Nevenka’s summer line is heavy on elegant embroidery and soft crochet. Whimsy is given a hint of sex appeal in the way of sheer cut outs in white and nude laces. A latte lace long sleeveed gown showing bare skin at the waist epitomises the feel of this collection; frivolous and bohemian, feminine yet utterly seductive.

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Thurley’s spring summer looks cover all fashionable bases. Rose gold and black metallics make way for graphic printed party dresses and monochrome maxis. Evening wear is kept on trend and directional in the shape of backless lace styles in deep coral hues.

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The perfect show closer, iconic Melbourne institution Christine Accessories presented their pieces in the most whimsical Alice in Wonderland style. Lace bunny head pieces, printed umbrellas and modern fascinators combined modernity and other worldly style. Geometric sunglass shapes were exaggerated and luxe jewellery was draped across the models like armour.

MSFW 2013 Designer Runway 3 was truly a cultural celebration of all things uniquely Melbourne.

Images byAleksandar Jason Kostadinoski for Couturing.

About The Author

Gemma Watts

Gemma Watts has worked in the fashion media industry since 2012, writing for and being headhunted by some of the country's leading fashion and beauty companies. With a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) under her belt, Gemma is able to combine her two greatest passions as Couturing's Fashion Editor- fashion and writing.

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