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Home Events Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2012

MBFWA 2012: Day 1

Sydney put on a beautiful sunny morning for the first day of Mercedes Benz Australia Fashion Week, with the stylish fashion set turning out in their stunning best for a hectic day of street-style fashion, people watching and of course runway shows.


Opening the week with a bang, the effervescent Romance Was Born kicked things off with an off-site show at nearby Miller Point, with a fittingly colourful and cartoonish display of their newest collection for Spring/Summer 2012/13 inspired by Marvel comics.

Flame-haired models in bright, graphic prints with 80’s inspired silhouettes strutted the runway against a striking 3D comic strip back drop, welcoming MBFWA 2012 with RWB’s trademark theatrical charm.

Back at the MBFWA site, sweet swimwear label Lisa Maree was the first onsite show, which also began in dramatic fashion with live opera singing, before a soft and pretty collection of pastel printed dresses and crocheted swimwear sashayed down the runway.

Gail Sorronda was up next, with her collection utilising the Box installation space for the first time this week, her rainbow bright polka-dot looks near glowing in the darkened space, making for an interesting departure from her preferred black.


Right to left: Romance Was Born, Lisa Maree, Gail Sorronda

Elegance was the theme at Gary Bigeni, with a crisp and clean colour-blocked collection that featured luxe silks and leather in beautiful blues, greens, coral, ivory, caramel and black.  His showing drew audible sighs from the assembled crowd with its utter gorgeousness, the high collars and knee length skirts making for a wearable, lady-like and totally covetable collection.

Taking things more tribal, Kirrily Johnston showed offsite at new restaurant Nield Avenue, with a collection that definitely danced to the beat of its own gypsy drum.  Her love of neutrals complemented by acid brights in strong prints in her signature long lines and clever draping.

Known as the queen of caftans and resort wear, Camilla drew a large crowd for her show in the Tent, which celebrated the release of her new ready to wear collection.  She has added shorts, playsuits and a number of separates to her repertoire, shown in a collection that resembled a chic zoo with it’s multitude of animal inspired prints.


Left to right: Gary Bigeni, Kirrily Johnston, Camilla

Heading back up to the Box, winner of Project Runway Australia Dylan Cooper, made a strong debut with his installation show, which was a fresh and pretty collection of prints and wearable separates.  Another young and fun label Miss Unkon followed, with a lovely showing of super short t-shirt dresses and pretty party pieces perfect for Sydney’s steaming hot summers.

Moving off-site again, this time to an old church for Manning Cartell, the fashion set were presented with a striking Frida Kahlo inspired show.  Set to MIA’s ‘Bad Girls’ the collection embraced Kahlo’s love of colour, prints and texture complete with the artist’s signature hairstyle.


Left to right: Dylan Cooper, Miss Unkon, Manning Cartell

Bringing a dose of show-stopping glamour to the MBFWA runway for the first time this week, Aurelio Costarella’s incredible collection of glamorous gowns and statement headpieces was an utter delight to witness on the runway.  Feathers, crushed sequins and lots of intricate embellishments in a strong earthy colour palette with acidic highlights, made for an unbelievably beautiful collection be-fitting the red carpet perfectly.

New York came to Sydney with the only international on the programme for the week, celebrity designer Whitney Port of the ‘The Hills’ and ‘The City’ fame, showcasing her collections Whitney Eve and WE by Whitney Eve in the Box space.  Her relaxed silhouettes, pretty pastels and pops of colour made for a really wearable collection that is as laidback and lovely as Whitney herself, her friendly address to the crowd winning her even more fans for her humble and charming manner.


Left to right: Aurelio Costarella, Celebrity designer Whitney Port, Whitney Eve and WE by Whitney Eve

The cool kids of Australian fashion, Ksubi were the last onsite show for the day and showed to a very packed house of fashion fans eager to see what they had to offer.  Denim, denim and more denim was the order of the night, with head to toe looks for guys and girls in tropical prints and lots of shorts, with several fashion insiders calling it the most cohesive show of the day. 

Left to right: Ksubi, Ginger and Smart

Closing the first day of MBFWA at David Jones’ lovely Elizabeth Street store, Ginger and Smart celebrated 10 years in the fashion business with a bright and beautiful show filled with billowing dresses, shimmering metallic and crazy mohawks.  Their show was a joyous, colourful way to end the night and a stylish reminder of what brilliant designers they are.

Day one of MBFWA flew by in a blur of riotous colour with just as many stunning looks off the runway as on it from the followers of fashion in attendance.  Day two is another busy day of shows, opening with MBFWA favourites Zimmermann and closing with sleek couturier Bowie.

-    Evelyn Ebrey
Photo Credit: MBAFW Image Gallery