I was lucky enough to be in Melbourne for the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival recently and I don’t know why, but I came back to NZ pretty disappointed with what I saw. For me Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia. I can think of nothing better than wandering around Little Collins Street and ferreting up and down the lane-ways that throw you great fashion surprises. Whether it is Chapel Street, Chadstone, or the Melbourne CBD – there is always something to catch your eye.
Which I am guessing, has some bearing on my disappointment in the overall brands that I saw showing at the Fashion Festival. I must admit I don’t know a lot about Australian designers, but have bought clothes from Sass & Bide, Ksubi and Bassike previously. However, I just didn’t see anything that really excited me and thought – ‘this is boring”. It got to the point where I even started yawning and thinking about everything other than fashion! On the bright side – I was grateful that my suitcase wouldn’t be laden down with too many items of clothing (that I so didn’t need).
However, there were a couple of designers that are worthy of a special mention. The first was London-based designer Mary Katrantzou for her amazing prints and bold colours that were visually appealing and interesting at the same time; Ginger & Smart showed form-fitting dresses in Aztec prints in an easy and relaxed style that I really wanted. I did also enjoy Kusbi that showered us with great street-wear, with edge. I went to the store the next day to check it out, but alas it didn’t quite fit my body shape.
Overall though I came back with a renewed appreciated for the home-grown talent nurtured here in NZ. We look to have a point of difference and don’t get too swayed by international fashion trends. That’s the good thing about being this far away – we can set ourselves apart from the rest of the world and from a fashion perspective we most certainly are doing a fantastic job. Well, that’s what I think!