Style Melbourne

Designers to Watch Right Now

To design is to create and plan something special. I’ve sourced five hot designers to watch and crave right now. All have their own innovative outlook on fashion and the competitive industry and how their collections stand out from the crowd.

1. Melbourne sisters doing it for themselves. Angela & Sarah McFarland are the talented duo behind Angi Mac Jewellery (pictured right). If you’re looking for something bold, something characteristic, these ladies can offer it. Sarah, the eldest sister lived and travelled Asia to build a business opportunity and source the gorgeous fashion accessories that younger sister Angela creatively puts together. Designed for women who like to be identified as stylish and in the ‘now’ Angi Mac Jewellery has a signature eye for lasting style. The pieces are timeless and made from materials like glass beads, wood, cow horn and stones. Some of the jewellery will have a mix of all of them, still symmetrical designs but with a twist. They will be the focus of an outfit. Their website provides you with an organised window shopping experience of four jewellery categories. Black, Gold, Silver and Fascinators. Yes they’ve ventured into the racing world so the beautiful pieces available for wear on your collarbone or wrist have been gorgeously replicated for head wear.  This also means most pieces are available in all four categories. The design of the jewellery is based around coins, pennies, American quarters, records and many things circular. Vintage style earrings perfect for a cocktail evening, necklaces (including drop down), coins on pendants, charms & unusual add ons to bracelets. Gold and silver beads befriending each other on the same chain. I wear my ‘Angi Mac Penny Pendent NKL’ praying the US dollar will increase so the Melbourne fashionistas can get back to their Melbourne purchases. And it adds excitement to a denim and Witchery singlet outfit.

2. Yeojin Bae, a woman holding a Tiffany and Co Young Designer of the Year award and a ‘One to Watch’ award from Marie Claire and the UK Sunday Times deserves to be on our list. She’s been in the fashion industry for years and has now taken her innovative style to her showroom in Prahran. The Lili Marlene 09 collection presents innovative and alluring dress designs which will have you looking and feeling the glamorous startlet. Her pieces have a layered effect with a focus on luxury. Desirable flirty florals, playful jumpsuits and bold pieces group to form the wearable yet creative collection. Look out for asymmetrical designs with accurate detailing and well positioned ‘features’ on the dresses. It really brings the Yeojin Bae out and she is fast becoming a catwalk favourite and offers a point of difference. Taking corporate, sleek and smart wear to a new level, the Hitchcock Blonde 09 collection offers chiffon blouses, sharp and tailored pieces as well as cocktail dresses with an edge. Taffeta has also made an appearance. Nothing you wear from this collection could bore. Bold colours mixed Yeojin Bae’s signature porcelain black and coral is the complimentary colour of the season. Embrace Yeojin’s style and learn to blend classic innovation (pictured below left).

3. Gorman is a company who recognises their environmental responsibility. As well as providing a no fuss solid collection of stylish pieces, Gorman have launched an organic collection. Gorman’s large list of green credentials are listed on their website however this collection reflects the use of 100% Accredited GreenPower, organic and sustainable yarn and reduction of packaging to name a few. The current collection displays luxury fabrics such as silk, leather and merino wool all in gorgeous structured pieces. Styles are fun, very now and I can see a vintage vs. rock and roll influence. Less prints, and more solid colours in the darker hues, they’re a great stepping stone to Melbourne’s Autumn/Winter. The designs are practical such as shift dresses, sharp blazers and tailored cardigans but don’t underestimate the fashion impact. The luxury materials display the quality of the brand and you’ll also find sequins and other feminine features in the collection. Also knowing that Gorman have researched and implemented green credentials into the production and shipping provide a responsibility that we want to buy their products. If you ride your bicycle to their store and mention it to the salesperson at the counter, you’ll get a discount. Eco fashion just got better (pictured below centre left).

4. In a breed of her own, designer Jessie White released this creative Shakuhachi label eight years ago. Based on art concepts, her collections reflect all the design fundamentals including colour, style, geometric shapes and lines all carefully planned for the female silhouette. Luxury fabrics execute creative detailing, silk dresses, structured blazers and jackets in a never expiring style. Weekend blouses, beach to bar dresses and beaded pieces all collaborate to her unusual direction that keeps us girls coming back for more. If you want to be in fashion without the generic compliments, try Shakuhachi. Every piece is a statement and enables and provides a vibrant style. Jessie calls it ‘relaxed sophistication’ and it is just that. Day to evening, never mainstream but still very in fashion and a good source of wardrobe therapy.  Watch Jessie grow, in the economic downturn, we’re all looking for high quality, creative and long lasting tran-seasonal pieces. Jessie saw this market opportunity a long time ago and now we can all reap the wardrobe benefits (pictured below centre right).

5. We’re always hearing about “the new black”. Well Andrea Yasmin offers “the forever black”. Melbournians can’t deny it, we love, worship and always go back to black. Designer Andrea Pannell established herself in 1993 and took this concept to a label to create the collection of 11 pieces, Andrea Yasmin Black. The label uses luxury stretch fabrics such as opaque jersey and cotton spandex which celebrates a woman’s body Welcome back your curves but have them flattered, and ladies with no waistline, this fabric will source it for you. Designed to display feminine sensuality they have a day to night approach and are the ‘staple’ we all look for. You’re constantly reading that during this economic downturn buying quality staple wardrobe pieces is essential. Andrea Yasmin pieces are simple, chic and being Tran seasonal will journey you through Melbourne months comfortably and affordably. All pieces in the Andréa Yasmin Black collection are female and named accordingly. Audrey, a classic cotton spandex pencil dress will accentuate a gorgeous decolletage and hourglass figure. Rachel however offers an opaque jersey non fitted blouse with attached pencil skirt. Skirt even folds into blouse if you just need a top and best of all, no iron required. Tran seasonal and low wardrobe maintenance? Andrea knows Melbourne (pictured below right).

Words – Angela Fedele

Images courtesy designers

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