VAMFF – Grand Showcase

For the past few years, the blueprint of mainstream Australian fashion has been dominated by simple, understated silhouettes, underpinned by a distinct theme of luxury rooted in minimalism.

This year, eleven graduates from around the nation showcased their collections, and seeking to make their own unique mark and statement on the fashion landscape the designers veered away from this cast. The showcase was defined by excess – excess in detail, excess in shape, excess in colour. But who said you can have too much of a good thing?

Stephanie Frig’s collection was a manifestation of this. Reminiscent of labels like Gorman and Romance was born, her collection shunned the monochromatic, minimalist status quo. Her vibrant and audacious collection was hallmarked by oversize coats, and bright, acidic colours. The juxtaposition of of smooth and furry textures and detailed embellishment was most aptly described as well curated mayhem.

Alexandra Lane was another standout. Colour was used sparingly, in the almost all white collection, with the exception of some carefully placed turquoise. The detail was in the considered manipulation of fabric. Origami-like jackets, and ribbed pleats and interchangeable layered pieces, created dramatic structure through a very clever use of texture. One of the hardest things for students in fashion, is finding their fashion voice: who they are as designers and what defines the core values of their aesthetic.

For me, the true star of the showcase was Hannah Kim, who clearly has her aesthetic down to an art form. Her collection would be best described as the lovechild of Alannah Hill and Josh Goot – Modern, cool and effortless simplicity but with a fanciful, dreamy twist. With a bubblegum palette of pinks and whites, the collection dazzled with whimsical embroidery and embellishment. Giant disc sequins were grounded by delicate pearls, and pretty girl tutus were grounded by shiny sneakers and cool baseball caps. This it was not a show just for proud parents and friends.

The collections were truly impressive, some even aligned with, and deserving of places on the international fashion stage. It’s a wonderful thing to watch a designer grow. Watching Australian fashion’s trajectory map out in front of you? That’s a delight.

Photos by Angela Pezzimenti ©

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