One thing you can always count on when attending a show featuring emerging designers is that they won’t be afraid to take risks. They often buck against conventional shapes, textures and fabric trends. This is what made the Up and Comers Fashion Show so refreshing. The show supported the Ardoch Youth Foundation – a fitting charity that ensures disadvantaged Australian children are receiving the help and support they need in order to stay at school.
Lily Hart’s collection had a casual but sexy vibe with loose textured basics matched with tight denim pieces. Midriff baring cropped tops made appearances in both of the first two collections, Melia By Night teaming them up with lightweight linen shorts. Melia’s creative use of shape and structure was most apparent in the gathered dresses and skirts, with voluminous layers and rope detailing. Rope caught my eye again in Harvest Powell’s collection on a white off the shoulder dress using similar coloured rope as a unique belt. Gold sequined garments were peppered between wearable pieces in more subdued tones, with most hemlines being fairly high above the knee. A mini skirt using two different cream coloured fabrics with asymmetric layers was the highlight.
Menswear was represented by Leon Vault, Modernist and I Heard They Eat Cigarettes; each with a unique take on the classic tee. Leon Vault used a mixture of intricate sketches and stylised linear images on black, white and grey tops. Modernist embraced colour for summer with bright base colours such as red and green as well as a monochrome palette with a tree theme evident in his choice of prints. Political and controversial slogans were paired with drawings in a style similar to etching on I Heard They Eat Cigarettes’ t-shirts and singlets.
The tag line for Borsha’s collection “Live a colourful life” certainly prepared the audience for the pieces to come – bright solid hues and eclectic prints; some garments with ruffles or cut out panels on the sides for added interest. The most eye-catching piece was a long flowing patchwork style skirt paired with an asymmetrical black velvet top. While Tobey showed off a soft range of silk camisoles with strong graphic prints and ribbed singlet tops with lace accents.
If you’re a fan of vintage inspired swimwear, My Sister Pat is a label you should introduce yourself to. Cute bikinis with halter tops and high waisted hot pants came in polka dot, floral and gingham prints with contrasting fabrics along the bustline and straps. For the more modest of us there were long singlet combinations and playsuits in similar patterns to dream about. The final collection was that of Future Romance which kicked off with a knee length black leather dress with an interesting panelled look. The label oozes attitude, blending statement pieces with tight high waisted denim, cut outs and unusual shapes. Their ‘Cut Out My Circle’ leather bags were a unique and bold addition to the outfits, tying in with the pieces perfectly.
These labels and more can be found at the Up and Comers Market, held on the second Saturday of every month at Ormond Hall. Make sure you head along to support Melbourne’s fresh new fashionable talent and you may find that you’ve invested in a piece from next year’s ‘It’ label.
Wise words by Kimberley Smith
Happy snaps by Edy Lianto