A normal catwalk with a DJ and parading models is so 2007. Now it’s all about those added extras; dancers, baton twirlers and extravagant decorations. A fitting place to hold a show that’s a little different is the Fashion Incubator MC. The FIMC last night housed ‘A Cheeky Romance’ by designer Ella. She’s a designer with a dancing background and that is certainly handy when showing off your latest collection! A three-piece band of saxophone, accordion and snare drum enthralled the crowd with their fabulous improv talents and even got the models bopping along.
Fashionably late, the doors opened and we were greeted by five, very different males on a white podium. While the audience filed in (strictly behind the white line, of course) a cheeky, shaggy-haired blonde male waved at the audience while the other four stood deadly still, glaring at the well-dressed audience. While their looks, and good looks at that, may have being intimidating, their nautical themed outfits were not. There was an abundance of pink and red stripes, white cardigans with navy piped lining, candy-striped shorts and skinny turquoise and red ties. These outfits are certainly not for the sort of guy that wants to blend into the crowd. After a few pouts and winks for the camera, only one male was left behind. Not for looks, but for the gentlemanly role of helping the ladies up onto the podium. In uber-high, gold wedges, it was probably more of a safety requirement
To some chilled jazz sounds the first round of models made their way onto the stage and contrasted quite strikingly with the white interior. It was a bit of a shout out to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock with hippies galore! Cream dresses made of soft wool were accentuated with brown leather criss-cross belts, large asymmetrical ruffles, voluminous layers and brown leather waist coin bags. Like many designers, Ella uses the same material for different dresses and skirts but adds something different to them all, whether it is the volume, the back of the dress or the cut of the piece.
For Ella, her Spring/Summer 2010 collection is all about earthy colours, there are no summer brights here. Along with cream, chocolate was a popular colour. Perhaps she likes Cookies ‘n’ Cream ice-cream? This time round the focus is on draping fabrics, with mid length sleeves, one-shoulder designs, hoodie dresses and keyhole surprises at the back.
Whether you’re ready to flaunt your legs or prefer to leave them covered, Ella has you covered with both mini and maxi dresses, as well as more traditional styles that fall at the knee. The mini versions of her dresses are balanced with a draped, high neck, while some of the maxi version have very low cut fronts, a la the ‘Twigley’. Again, harking back to Woodstock there’s plenty of crochet in her designs, as well as draping cardigans to finish the ensembles off.
But the final parade of models showed a different side to Ella’s designs. Embracing the 80s love, it was all about sequins. Not tiny little ones, bit fat black sequins! Ella offered a couple of themes to try, perhaps the corporate look of a pinstripe, strapless dress with a mermaid tail of sequin trailing behind? And there was daring nightwear with sequins exposing bum cheeks, but class was added with pearls and a flower in the hair.
Wonderful writing by Tara McGrath
Pretty pictures by Anthony Licuria APLTags: ella, fashion design, fashion designer, fashion incubator, Melbourne, melbourne fashion, melbourne spring fashion week, msfw 2009, spring fashion week, spring summer 2010, summer fashion