The Independent runway is all about pushing the envelope, innovation, and the freedom to explore the limits of creativity, so it was apt that the overarching theme of the night was one of freedom. Presented by Oyster Magazine, and featuring looks from this years Tiffany & Co National Design Award winners, Pageant as well as last year’s winners, Strateas.Carlucci, Celeste TesorieroElissa McGowan, Salasai Dress Up and Emma Mulholland (and a sneaky performance by Chela) all showing at the edgy runway.

Opening the show with a bang, Strateas.Carlucci showed what they’ve been up to since winning the prestigious design award last year (which, is, by the way, deliciously luxe layering). White on white silks were toughened up with leathers and slick suiting.

Celeste Tesoriero showed Kath and Kim couture, with Australiana decals being transported into high fashion silhouettes. Our favourite look? The tongue-in-cheek tourist look, complete with ‘Sydney’ tee.’

Elissa McGowan perfected relaxed suiting, layered separates, and minimalist luxe, showing looks that would make any girl about town swoon. Rich burgundy’s were paired in soft pinks and punctuated with black statement pieces.

Salasai was punk-meets-preppy, with traditional letterman sweaters exaggerated and toughened up with mesh separates and slogan tees. The stand out? The printed and raw edge shirt and skirt combo – exactly what the downtown Blair Waldorf would be seen it.

Dress Up is undeniably for the Francophiles among us, and this collection proved that right down to the styling choice of adding berets to every look. Obviously inspired by French street style, this is the label you want when you want to be effortlessly chic, BYO café au lait.

Emma Mulholland also got the Australiana memo, but instead of our national identity, she was inspired by a national icon – Home and Away‘s Alf Stewart and his immortal catch phrase, ‘flamin’ galah!’. Pink leather and embroidered sweaters, and a showstopping fluffy pink suit were standouts in the collection, and a wink to Dame Edna by way of glitzy sunnies was a cute addition.

Closing the show, the designers and models hit the runway once again, this time making a stand for marriage equality with two girls from each designer walking hand in hand to the strains of George Michael’s ‘Freedom’, culminating in Pageant recreating Chanel’s ‘two brides’ moment – a highlight of the festival so far.

Images courtesy of Theo Cipriano

About The Author

Paige Richards

Paige's nitpicking of misspelt menu items led her to find her love of editing. Living in her adopted city of Melbourne, she is ever in pursuit of the perfect coffee, and the perfect little black everything. And like the wise Carrie Bradshaw once said, she keeps her money where she can see it - hanging in her closet.

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