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The MBFWA Diaries Part 2
Julie Roulston brings Thread her diary from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. Read her first instalment on Romance was Born here. Next up: Day 2...
The MBFWA diaries
One of the good things about being in your early 40s is, you’ve become a wily old coyote.
It takes a bit of argy-bargy but before too long I have myself set up in the upstairs media room at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. I secure a a dedicated spot between my idol Patty Huntington (a.k.a Frockwriter) and her ‘UNCUT’ pop-up blog team, and witty young authority Alyx Gorman from TheVine and her team - which includes fashion author Mitchell Oakley Smith.
I also successfully beg the woman in the downstairs photographers’ room for a locker - essential if you’re lucky enough to score any goodie bag loot. You don’t want to be carting around a laptop, a camera and 2L of assorted hair products!
I attend Lisa Maree (swimwear),
...see first-time colour from Gail Sorronda (installation in The Box - a new installation-only venue)...
...then I go backstage at Camilla, and then jump in a cab to go to a former church in Darlinghurst, prior to the Manning Cartell show.
Below: Models do eat! Camilla showed kidswear for the first time in her show - officially the biggest of MBFWA with more than 45 models.
It’s worth the fare to get backstage pre-show at Manning Cartell. The hair by Alan White for ghd is super pretty, with 21 muted, pastel-y shades developed to match the collection. The makeup by Max May for M.A.C is equally lovely. And the clothes are gorgeous; they manage to be feminine, opulent and contemporary, all at the same time.
Popping out from backstage I join the queue to enter the venue from the front along with the other lucky invitees. Formidable PR Holly Garber has been kind and most of the NZ fashion family are here, including Murray Bevan from Showroom 22 and katherineisawesome blogger Katherine Lowe.
Below: The Manning Cartell face chart.
Frida Kahlo has been a key inspiration for the Manning Cartell show, and dry ice permeates the runway and church pews alongside lush greenery - successfully atmospheric. I think the show is beautiful but am actually quite upset to hear from colleagues knowledgable of the European scene that it’s a little bit ‘derivative’. Can’t say if that’s true, and I hear the criticism addressed to several other big names as the week goes on. Tell you what though, it was a great show with very pretty clothes (below).
The Frida Kahlo inspired makeup featured a fair 'negative' version...
...and below, the "dark, positive version."
Below: a close-up of hair at Manning Cartell.
Back at the OPT, Aurelio Costarella fills the big The Tent venue with a tour de force collection of gowns (below). In the past some of his styles have been a bit too embellished for my taste, but he seems to have reigned himself in a little, to stunning effect.
I’m gobsmacked to get my hands on a front row seat to Ksubi. The atmosphere backstage had been a little tense when I visited pre-show. Lovely Michael Beel from Buoy in Wellington, who is at MBFWA as part of the ghd team, explains very diplomatically that there’s been a hair change - when the models did their walk-though, the hair didn’t behave quite as the Creative Director intended. I make the most of the calm before the storm by having a look at the changes on the racks and admiring some male models (their hair was behaving and so they were in their first outfits).
Ksubi has a stunning set which apparently has taken all day to build. We wait and wait (to the strains of ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ as I recall) and then a slick outing for boys and girls hits the runway.
You could see yourself owning and thrashing numerous pieces of Ksubi’s sophisticated streetwear. There’s a gorgeous black and white heart/paisley print and I’m rapt to later discover a scarf in the print, in my goodie bag
Thankfully IMG bus us to the offsite shows as it’s late and I’m not the only tired journo. Ginger and Smart are celebrating their 10 year anniversary on the 7th floor of David Jones. It’s quite something to walk through the beauty floor after hours, empty bar staff who may be there to welcome, or to protect the merchandise, or both.
Bless the Smart sisters! There are Aperol cocktails and even the odd olive. I’m seated next to a man who tells me he is Ginger and Smart’s accountant - and Josh Goot’s (I enjoy telling him “it’s your fault then” (alluding to Goot’s late exit from the MBFWA schedule).
Fernando Frisoni styled the ‘NEONATURE’ show. Hair, a take on the iconic mohawk (below), was by Alan White at ghd (it’s now apparent that not only is White hugely creative, he’s also been very busy).
The Ginger and Smart muse “has a desire for nature and authenticity...alongside her fascination with technology.” May the clothes speak for themselves:
Ginger and Smart photos below by ghd
Words and photos by Julie Roulston using Sony NEX
4 May 2012