The Stitches & Craft Show became part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival cultural program this year with a sense of rejuvination. The exhibition is bigger and brighter and as the global financial crisis carries on, many are returning to our grandmothers’ handywork; sewing, knitting and dressmaking. The show promotes an eco-friendly, budget and thrifty way to line your wardrobe for seasons ahead. The addition of several catwalk parades run by local event organisers Midnight Fashion added to the Stitches & Craft Show’s “new cool” appeal. Particularly, the F.rock Fashion parade which featured Melbourne-based labels Neisha by Neisha Smith and Leonard St by Amanda McCarthy.
The Neisha collection focuses on the feminine through the Maori mythology of her native New Zealand and via recurring themes of snakes and the feminine ‘V’ motif. Dramatic hoods represent mysterious reptilian shed skin while ruching in all the right places serves to either highlight curves or enhance those that are lacking. It’s sensuality embodied in an ethically made range. Leonard St’s latest collection is also feminine but in a more traditional sense. It is ladylike and discreet without being prim and proper. The versatile “Blondie” tunic dress can be worn day, night, to the office or out to lunch.
Other highlights of the event include the Cleakheaton parade showcasing those winter woolies, Etc Accessories displaying all the creative ways to wear a pashmina and finally the Wardrobe Refashion parade which provided inspiration on how to create new pieces from pre-loved clothing.
Words – Sarah Willcocks
Photography – Ken Nakanishi Hikari