Style Melbourne

LMFF Pop Up 1; A Celebration of Australian Designers

Each year, the Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival puts on a series of free ‘Pop Up’ parades during March showcasing a broad range of designers and trends.  This morning, the Herald Sun and Harper’s Bazaar launched the first of the Pop Up shows with a tribute to iconic fashion moments throughout history, recreated by some of Australia’s most prominent designers.

If I could only use one word to describe the magic that was LMFF Pop Up Parade no.1, it would be breathtaking.  Never before have I seen Australian designed couture of such a high quality and of such magnificent beauty.  Despite the early hour, and my slightly weary state of mind, I was instantly awakened the second the first model stepped gracefully upon the runway. 

The always whimsical J’Aton Couture opened the show with an awe-inspiring 1860’s Victorian style gown in muted tones of caramel and gold.  The intricate gown pulled together some of the most feminine trends in history, including an intricate brocade designed fabric complete with beading, sequins and a magnificent bustle ensuring that the dress was just as amazing from the back as it was from the front.  Arthur Galan went on to recreate a crisp 1900’s Edwardian two piece outfit in eye catching red tartan complete with bold accessories in the form of a wide black leather waist belt and a fabulous feathered headpiece.

Easton Pearson’s take on Art Noveau form the early 1900’s was instantly recognisable as one of the designers ultra quirky styles.  The canary yellow coat dress featured both strong shape and embellishment, and plenty of pink sequins to keep even the girliest girl satisfied.  The ever sophisticated Toni Maticevski took on the 1920’s with an oh-so-magnificent flapper style frock.  Using Gold and Silver tones, the design featured it all, from fringing, to sequins and embroidery – I could definitely see myself donning this at a cabaret themed event, so Toni if you’re reading this, there feel free to give me a call!  Aurelio Costarella went on to up the glam factor with a floor sweeping latte coloured bias cut gown from the classic 1930’s decade. Complete with an almost backless cowl and feathered accents…upcoming brides check out this collection, the man is a genius.

Jayson Brunsden was up next with his take on WW2 Utilitarian style, his design being a simple yet uber stylish skirt suit.  Finished in mint silk linen, the immaculate tailoring and simple lines made this outfit a crowd favourite.  Perhaps the most extravagant of the lot, was the iconic Alex Perry’s New Look Dior gown.  Several hushed gasps were heard as the model stepped out wearing a black strapless corseted gown, finished with a voluminous full satin and tulle skirt, and detailed ever so perfectly with sequins and beading.  One of the most legendary era’s in fashion, the 1960’s was to follow with Sydney designers Camilla & Marc’s interpretation of the ‘mod’ or ‘Twiggy’ look.  In Chanel-esque style, the ultra funky outfit consisted of a broderie anglaise shift, complete with cropped box jacket, a fantastic crochet cap and oh-so-now black rimmed spectacles – this outfit was definitely one of my favourites.

Not to be outdone, Marnie Skillings hippie inspired floral floor length frock added instant ‘prettiness’ to the runway.  In delicate silk chiffon, Skillings’ design embodied all that we have known to love about the 1970’s and its free love vibe.  In stark contrast to the previous feminine design, the edgy Tina Kalivas recreated the 1980’s power dressing vibe, with a simply stunning black lace body con dress with striking patent leather accents across the bust and hips.  Displaying how effective minimalism can be, Josh Goot’s diagonal black and white turtle neck knee length dress flattered the body and created an effective ‘look at me’ geometric effect in a way that only Goot can.  Entering the 90’s Richard Nicholl’s shot of neon made for an eye catching frock, the model donned in an orange, pink and nude toned mini dress.  Draped details ensured that a simple mini can be so much more.

Futuristic fashion is such an exciting thought, and designers Romance was Born, Dion Lee and Friedrich Grey let their future imaginations run wild with three individual pieces.  First up was the quirky and fun Romance was Born, with a dress that if worn in the street, could possibly attract swooping magpies.  Shiny silver fringing, enormous ruffles and even clanging spoons adorned this frock, complete with holographic leggings – wow is the most appropriate reaction to this exaggerated creation.  Dion Lee pushed the boundaries with a slightly S&M themed body con sheath dress, accented with peepholes a plenty, zips and leather.  The finale was an amazing geometric styled coat dress by the dynamic Friedrich Grey.  In true Grey style, sharp lines were used to create the most dramatic effect possible.

Needless to say we were all left a little speechless after LMFF’s first Pop Up parade.  Be sure to check out the rest in a series of Pop Up’s throughout the week, at various locations and times around our wonderful city.

Words – Bronwyn Miller

Photography – Michael Todor, Todor Photography

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