Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFWA), what a whirlwind. We knew it was going to be a big one this year, but woah. From shows under the bridge, on the harbour and everywhere in between, Sydney this year put on quite a performance. Although we knew it was going to be a little different from the get-go.
You see, the time slot for MBFWA this year moved from it’s usual April to May, bringing with it more of a focus on Resort collections and therefore bribing some of our most favourite Aussie designers to show their Resort 16 collections back home. (Because you know what? It costs designers $15,000 to show their wares at #mbfwa and that doesn't even include their sets, lighting, models and everything else that goes with the week too. Phhhoooaaar!)
The change of date also allowed shows to be aligned with international buying cycles, meaning designers could show entirely new collections in Australia rather than the same ones they’ve shown in Paris. And for us? Well, it meant we'll get to see all the trends from #mbfwa land in stores come September – in a much more wearable fashion of course.
Anyway, Toni Maticevski started off the week’s festivities (a show that we sadly couldn’t get to) followed by some of Australia’s well-known fashion brands including Georgia Alice, Dion Lee, Yeojin Bae and more. Over 55 designers followed suit and renowned Oscar De La Renta closed the week.
But we can’t forget to mention model Bella Hadid, who walked for Misha collection and was reportedly a shining $400,000 star! (Seriously she got paid $400,000 to be here for 24 hours – anybody else want her job?)
Although was she worth it - we’re not sure. It was a lot of star pulling power for not much bang for your buck if you get what we mean...
Anyway, it was a jam-packed week filled with shows, meetings, buying appointments and of course, vital coffee stops and street style stalks as well.
But what were our highlights? Well, let’s chat about them below.
Ps. Our mega #boss lady Alicia, will be chatting more intimately about her #mbfwa 16 experience, trends she’ll be picking up for us to wear and what it meant for our beloved Rebel Muse brand over the coming week so watch this space!
Alice McCall is one of our fave. Rebel Muse brands. Every year their show is more of a feature event than runway parade and this year surely didn’t disappoint. Their event was held at Porteno restaurant in Surry Hills, where on arrival we were treated to delish cocktails and tapas while we viewed the collection on live model installations. Throughout the bar, elaborate sets were installed with models wearing a variety of garments that would be swapped and changed into through the night while also posing for live photo shoots.
Rebel Muse owner and head buyer Alicia Xyraxis says, “Alice McCall was one of my favourite shows of the week. I loved seeing how the pieces from their collection would be worn in real life rather than just on the runway. Plus it was great to see the models eating, drinking and just hanging out like the rest of us. At 9pm we were also treated to a delish three-course meal, which being a foodie, was much needed after a busy day. Plus it was a great way to socialise, chat and network with other fashionistas on all things Rebel Muse. Let's just say you'll be seeing much more Alice McCall beauty very, very soon!”
We loved Georgia Alice. It was a show set in the ‘loading dock,’ which really, was just a long and narrow corridor that looked and felt like an old abandoned train tunnel (kind of like something you’d see on Indiana Jones). It also only had one row of seating on either side of the runway, so technically everyone was ‘front row’. Anyway, with the lights off and a really haunting soundtrack Georgia Alice really set the mood. The show then kicked off with smoke machines, colourful strobe lighting, all while the models sped up and down the catwalk giving the audience just a small glimpse at each of their ensembles.
When the lights were raised the models repeated the walk at a slightly slower pace, which was really when the audience was given the chance to properly see each of their outfits. “The concept was great! I loved the excitement; thrill and haunting feel of the show. I thought it really pushed the boundaries. Most of the clothes were neutral with metallic features and the styling was simple but effective. Minimalistic, yet with a true identity was what I truly felt showed through in their collection and I can’t wait to be showing you more in store!” Alicia says.
Macgraw's setting had a very pretty, classic Parisian feel and proved to us that models really can smile as they happily bounced down the runway in sweet pastel coloured garments juxtaposed against a hard core hip hop track, which was fun! A colourful show, it mixed and matched a pastel palette, quirky prints with white floral lace and dark green velvet as well. But the best thing? Their collection wasn’t strictly ‘resort’ and featured coats, long sleeve shirting with heavier fabrications too. This was a feature that we saw quite a bit throughout the week.
Today there's such a demand for Australian designers to be available overseas, it was clear that a lot of them this year were creating collections that would be wearable all over the world, no matter the season.
“I loved the final stories to come out of the runway by Macgraw! They were super layered frilly voluminous pieces that were just adorable and my definite show stoppers of the week. The soundtrack, which varied from hip hop to Yeezy, cute Parisian tracks and finished off with ‘I want candy’ was also a huge highlight to the show – and my week. Plus the models were also smiley and bubbly, which was sooooo refreshing to see. I love the beautiful Macgraw sisters Beth and Tess and can’t wait to see their beautiful pieces on all of you too!” Alicia says.
We knew P.E Nation wasn’t going to be a regular show (and really, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Pip and Claire.) Their show was situated in ‘the box,’ which was basically just a square room exactly like you would expect. In the centre of the room a square stage was built up with a variety of different levels and models were sitting all over, posed like mannequins too. The audience all got ushered into the room in the dark, so there wasn't any seating or any type of allocation. Then the soundtrack, which was simply just the sound of a basketball bouncing and dribbling on a basketball court started and the show got on the road!
“I loved, loved PE Nation!” Alicia says. Although are you really surprised? The sound of the basketball dribbling at the beginning, started off slowly, then moved faster and harder followed by spotlights to the beat of the ball and really set the scene. When the music dropped and the lights came up I knew we were in for a show. Again their music was a mix of hip-hop and rap (pretty sure it was more Yeezy) and was followed by Salt n Pepper's Shoop, which was a crowd (and my!) fave.
“I loved that at this show, instead of the models having to walk up and down a runway, the audience were the ones that moved around the central installation. Every now and then the models would merely have to move a little, or swap spots in order to display a new outfit. At the end of the installation Pip and Claire ran up onto the stage to a cheering audience and came to the front with all the models in formation behind them for photo opps, which was a fun and different way to finish. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to stop myself from buying all their clothes as much as you will too!” Alicia says.
Images: Vogue, Popsugar, Harpers Bazaar; Words: Yadira Galarza Cauchi, Alicia Xyraxis.
Tell us what were your highlights from this years #mbfwa 16?