Styled by the indefatigable fashion icon Nicole Bonython-Hines, the New Classics Runway was an exercise in restraint in many ways. Clean lines and the natural fall of fabrics were the key feature of Friday night’s opening event for Adelaide Fashion Festival 2016, presented by Mercedes Benz.
We began the evening with Naomi Murrell, well known for her jewellery success story and currently based within landmark of creative studio, The Mill. Her jewellry has always played with pastel colours against bright metallics, which translated in many intelligent and well executed ways throughout her clothing collection. With each model styled with a 70s style voluminous disco hairdo, the vibe was Miami-art-deco-come-effortless-chic. Deco in the sense of the cut (not colour blocking) formed some exquisite accentuating lines around the collarbone, neck and shoulders. Dresses, skirts and pants were loose to the fit, with flares to the pants, while skirts and dresses created delightful combinations – equally spring, summer and autumn in the shades and textures, illustrating Murrell’s evolving broad appeal.
Sylvy Earl was soon to follow with the first ‘accessory’ focus for the evening. Hats are a tough task to style, but with the hair styles from the previous runway carrying over, and classic cut bikini and bather clad models, they certainly made a prominent statement. Earl’s designs evoke Breakfast At Tiffany’s, trackside and beach style narratives all at once, and this collection will have won her many admirers with some chic and under-stated pieces. We should also say, her urban broad brim hats look a must have for the coming Autumn.
The Daily Edited was to follow with the fanfare surrounding their new concession store in Adelaide’s David Jones having been celebrated in the lead up. The worldwide reputation of Alyce Tran and Tania Liu has been grown online by embracing the notion of personal style, offering personalized leather accessories and monogram services which, to be honest, you had to get up close and personal to see. The leather work and bag layering certainly showed the versatility and classic structure of their pieces, but we will eagerly head into their new store to get a really close look at what they have to offer.
A protracted runway from Acler was largely down to their heavy involvement in the program launch when they revealed a collection of chic structured shirts and jackets, plunging necklines for their dresses and blouses, exceptional fabric embellishments and flowing features. This particular collection built upon their show-stopping work from the launch event, but more noticeable on the wider runway were the belt strap additions to their dresses and skirts which were allowed to flow freely adding an effortless and graceful emotional accompaniment to the carefully selected fabric combinations. We saw cottons, but not as you’d imagine.
Surmising Good Studios in one would is actually quite simple – they’re designs are all clean. Natural fabric textures and structured light long length shirt-dresses, shirts, skirts and dresses were minimalist on first glance but each piece carried its own identity through a clever use of tailored collars, sleeves and pockets. Whether you build upon these outfits with a jacket, or bright jewellery or rep them as statements on their own, Good Studios are certainly out to make a statement.
It’s not often that evening-wear draws the biggest applause of the runway but Elizabeth V created the absolute highlight of this event. Combining a blend of classic textures including luxurious and shimmering silks, intelligently layered cotton and sparingly use lace, each piece exuded comfort but also a design savvy style which honestly makes you feel that her work could translate to chic cocktail-wear given the right setting. Waist sashes smartly gave shape to the broad shouldered, open neck length dressing gowns, kimonos and nightwear, and there was plenty of play and whimsy in how she combined each fabric. Sheer jackets and shirts were not over-used, as the submlime combinations of shape and structure with the flowing silks accentuated each models figure. It’s so wonderful to see a collection that exuded intimacy and sensuality without being figure hugging or reverting to cliched use of lace and red. Floral and etched prints offset the largely white, silver and black palate.
Photography by Daina Oliver