MBFWA 2015: My Favourite Collections

Monday, April 20, 2015

Madison Stubbington on the MBFWA runway for Watson X Watson

















Every fashion week I'm filled with anticipation at what will be coming down the runway and year on year there are always great surprises, welcome comebacks and so many beautiful clothes it's hard to narrow down a list of favourites.  This MBFWA I set out to write a list of my top ten collections but I couldn't narrow it down any further than these twelve, all of which caught my eye for different reasons.

I have to say that as a longtime fan of blue I was so glad to see so much of it on the runway, pretty much every collection featured hues of blue and when editing these photos I had to make a conscious choice to choose other colours as well.  There were also so many winsome dresses I would easily spend every cent I make next season on them all, I also love that there are so many midi and full-length skirts too, elegance definitely won out on the runway.

Here are my favourite collections in alphabetical order as I couldn't easily rank them any other way:

Akira


Akira has been showing at MBFWA since the first event in 1996 and his collections continue to delight each season with his unique vision which melds contemporary ideas with incredible craftsmanship.  This range was floral inspired and highly creative, his use of layered silks, delicate embroidery and beautiful beading made for a colourful collection of stand-out pieces that were truly breathtaking.  Akira's garments were partly a nod to his two decades in fashion with references to previous collections including the red socks which his models famously wore in his first fashion week show as he couldn't afford shoes for them to wear at the time.  The glittering eye-brows and gorgeous floral accessories heightened the theatrical feel of his presentation and I couldn't take my eyes off his divine silk gowns. 

Alice McCall


Alice McCall has perfected a quirky charm that has seen her amass a cult following over the past 11 years and I've been a fan of her lovely collections since I first came across them back then.  This season was another playful range full of covetable pieces and I loved the cotton candy pink, crochet and metallics presented on the runway.  Her dreamy set by artist Daimon Downey gave the show a fanciful quality which suited the lace bunny ears and smiling faces of the models as they paraded down the runway.  I love that Alice McCall makes fashion fun while still making really wearable garments that have a youthful appeal and a sexy edge that keeps her fans coming back for more.   

Betty Tran


Betty Tran's second appearance on the MBFWA runway was a dramatic triumph with a bold collection of cleverly constructed pieces in scarlet, grey, black and white.  Her use of delicate floral applique added to the feminine appeal of her flattering garments which fell in perfect ruffles around the body.  Her silhouettes referenced glamorous gowns of the past while still maintaining a modern appeal with cut-out details and asymmetrical shapes.  I loved her incredible ivory and red bridal-style gown which closed the show and I won't be surprised to see her gorgeous creations show up on many a red carpet in future. 

Gail Sorronda


Gail Sorronda worked with a circular motif for her show, which also celebrated ten years of her label and she referenced coming full circle with a nod to some of her earlier creations.  Using an entirely monochromatic colour palette, Sorronda presented a range that at times felt seductive and at others perfectly prim with her mix of sheer fabrics, scholarly references and interesting silhouettes.  The circular head pieces and spectacles teamed with sophisticated garments felt almost like Sorronda's graduation as she moves forward into her next decade.  The circular theme also made for some fascinating shapes with ballooning sleeves and billowing skirts creating amazing shadows heightened by the massive lit sphere hanging in the middle of the runway.  

Jayson Brunsdon


Romance was the theme at Jayson Brunsdon and the crowd lapped up every red rose petal, myself included.  In fact the red rose was a recurring motif in the collection, making an appearance in a beautiful brocade and as a long stemmed feature on tops and dresses as well as men's shirting.  It was fitting that in a collection celebrating love that Brunsdon introduced his menswear collection which featured lace insert shirts and tailored pants, making for suitably dapper gentlemen to accompany the ladies.  I adored the wonderful tulle ballet skirts, glittering sequined pieces and gorgeous floral prints. This collection was so elegant and ladylike, it would be impossible not to feel graceful while wearing it.   

Jennifer Kate


I wasn't sure what to expect when I read that Jennifer Kate's collection was comprised entirely of leather pieces but I have to say I was delightfully surprised.  Her procession of looks in buttery-soft leather and luxurious suede were cleverly cut in modern shapes that looked wearable and very covetable.  I loved her pretty pastel pieces in pretty shades of periwinkle and mint the most, although the burnt orange was really striking too.  The relaxed feel of the collection was enhanced by rather nineties shapes with crop tops and boxy dresses complemented by a divine short trench.  It's not hard to see that this range was very international and will no doubt be highly popular in overseas markets this summer too.

Kate Sylvester


Kate Sylvester can do no wrong in my book and I was thrilled to hear that she was returning to the MBFWA runway again this year.  From the moment I read that her collection was inspired by Romeo and Juliet I was greatly anticipating what would come down the runway and I was certainly not disappointed.  My heart skipped a beat when I saw the opening look which was a nod to Leonardo DiCaprio's blue floral shirt and tan pants from Baz Luhrmann's nineties film version and I knew the rest of the range was going to be stellar.  What followed was a beautiful collection of garments which used pretty feminine pieces in delicate lace and winsome florals juxtaposed with more slouchy masculine ones that made for pyjama dressing at its finest.  Although my favourite pieces were the gauzy angelic ones which perfectly capture the version of Juliet I've had in my mind since I played her as a seventeen year old actress so many years ago.  

macgraw





Oh macgraw, where do I start? I absolutely adored this collection and I was smitten since the moment I first saw the rosy runway.  Everything was right about this show, from the gorgeous garments to the sweet sparkly shoes and mussed ponytails; macgraw's pretty shepherd girls were a delight. There was a distinct sixties feel in the form of cute mini dresses mixed with Victorian references as well as clean, simple pieces that tied everything together and kept things modern.  My favourite garments were the beautiful lace dresses and shirts as well as the magical star print pictured above.  This collection felt fresh, feminine and contemporary with all the garments a girl could wish for in a spring/summer wardrobe.      

Maticevski



By far the most spellbinding show of the week, Maticevski, yet again wowed the audience with his sublime take on modern couture.  The incredible draping, structure and attention to detail in his amazing gowns was a sight to behold.  One of the things Maticevski does best is experiment with innovative fabrics and new techniques which were again evidenced in his clever pieces which also reference vintage silhouettes but feel very much of the moment.  He used a moody palette of greys and blacks, lightened up with ivory, pretty pink florals and striking gold.  I loved every look of this collection and especially admire the brilliant construction of his dresses, they're so perfectly finished too with every stitch and bead placed just so. 

Michael Lo Sordo


Although I adored Michael Lo Sordo's chic silk trenches which were greatly lauded after his MBFWA show last year, I'm so glad he chose to go for romantic gowns which were oh so sublime this year.  His collection played with soft draping and pleating in delicate sheers which made for some divine dresses.  The plunging necklines and diaphanous nature of the skirts added a seductive feel while his pretty pastel hues with bold pops of colour kept things summery.  As black and white are always classic choices for occasion wear there were several monochromatic looks on the runway too.  It's hard not to be swept away in the fantasy of these gowns, they're definitely meant for a love affair.

Steven Khalil


Steven Khalil celebrated his twentieth anniversary at MBFWA this year which is an incredible achievement and there is no doubt that he is a master couturier.  His runway show brought a sensational dose of high glamour to fashion week, with a collection that was exquisitely embellished, impeccably tailored and utterly impossible to look away from.  I adored every gorgeous gown and marveled at the amazing attention to detail in each piece.  The beautiful colour palette of blush, navy, gold, mustard, ivory and black made for some truly winsome looks in form-fitting but very flattering silhouettes.  It's not hard to imagine how much attention the wearer of one of these creations would get on the red carpet.  He closed his show in the French couture tradition of a radiant bride gracing the runway in a breathtaking gown, which was the perfect ending to a show which would have been right at home on the catwalk in Paris.

Watson X Watson


As I mentioned at the start, blue is by far and away my favourite hue and I knew from the opening look of Watson X Watson's show that I was going to love their collection.  It featured a somewhat bohemian patchwork blanket styled as a coat/dress in pretty blue florals and denim accented with silver thread which is the ultimate garment for summer nights.  The looks that followed had that laid-back cool and easy sophistication that you would expect from a label that have become known for their brand of casual elegance.  With everything from relaxed daywear in creams and blues to chic evening looks in black and scarlet, Watson X Watson covered every outfit you would need for a sublime summer and the glittering Fiersol jewellery was the perfect finishing touch.  

I'm so looking forward to all these collections hitting stores in a few months time.  In the meantime I'll be working on my wish list for summer, as it's certainly going to be a sublime one this year.  

Images from MBFWA

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