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Fashion Week Review: The Innovators

Monday 14 April 2014

Fashion Week Review: The Innovators

The Innovators
Mercedez Benz Fashion Week
April 11

Every year at MBFWA, fashionistas flock to Sydney’s Carriageworks to be inspired by the latest attempts to bridge the fashion / art divide from our best designers across the country – and every year, I can’t wait for The Innovators runway. A procession of young, fresh and often avant-garde collections ensues, as does my appreciation for the new guard stomping down their oft tired and derivative predecessors.

This year was no different: Ciara Nolan followed in Emma Mulholland’s footsteps, delivering a streetwear collection with the perfect amount of blase cool. Logvin Code experimented with architectural lines and untraditional materials. Hayley Dawson showed us once again that simple and sleek is best. Bei Na Wei combined construction with futurism, and made us believe perspex is a legitimate backpack material. Kiaya Daniels delivered just the kind of menswear that the Australian industry needs right now, and Yousef Akbar pierced origami folding with plastic rods to forgo zippers and buttons.

It was inspiring, it was forward looking – and above all, it was innovative.

Ciara Nolan: A bold decision to base her latest collection around dinosaurs could have been a total disaster – but instead, it was totally inspired. The sweatshirt has been making a comeback recently via Kenzo et al, but Nolan’s whimsical dinosaur heads and technicolour reptilian prints were SO much cooler. On point, and instantly saleable. 

Every year at MBFWA, fashionistas flock to Sydney’s Carriageworks to be inspired by the latest attempts to bridge the fashion / art divide from our best designers across the country – and every year, I can’t wait for The Innovators runway. A procession of young, fresh and often avant-garde collections ensues, as does my appreciation for the new guard stomping down their oft tired and derivative predecessors.

This year was no different: Ciara Nolan followed in Emma Mulholland’s footsteps, delivering a streetwear collection with the perfect amount of blase cool. Logvin Code experimented with architectural lines and untraditional materials. Hayley Dawson showed us once again that simple and sleek is best. Bei Na Wei combined construction with futurism, and made us believe perspex is a legitimate backpack material. Kiaya Daniels delivered just the kind of menswear that the Australian industry needs right now, and Yousef Akbar pierced origami folding with plastic rods to forgo zippers and buttons.

It was inspiring, it was forward looking – and above all, it was innovative.

Ciara Nolan: A bold decision to base her latest collection around dinosaurs could have been a total disaster – but instead, it was totally inspired. The sweatshirt has been making a comeback recently via Kenzo et al, but Nolan’s whimsical dinosaur heads and technicolour reptilian prints were SO much cooler. On point, and instantly saleable.

Logvin Code: I never thought I’d say the more fringe the better, but after seeing this young designer’s collection punctuated by unusual materials and almost scale-like loops of metallic fringing I’m totally on board. I can see a dystopian future where we all look fab, our hair is perfectly sleek, and all-over metallic is the norm – and I’d like to live there please.

Hayley Dawson: Every time I go to fashion week I am distractedly entranced by pretty colours, pattern clashes, and floaty, fussy fabrics – but then one designer brings it all back to the basics, and I realise just how perfect simple can be. Hayley Dawson was that designer for me this year – but it must be said, that as simple and sleek as these designs look, the precise architecture is masterful.

Bei Na Wei: You know how I was just talking about that metallic-clad dystopian future? Now imagine there’s a 70s playboy party raging by the pool, and you just might understand where Bei Na Wei is coming from. I’m not sure just how crazy you have to be to pair crystalline 70s visors with boxy perspex backpacks and folded, architectural futurism, but it’s just the kind of crazy I like. 

Kiaya Daniels: This girl has her finger on the international pulse of men’s fashion – I’m just not sure how many Aussie blokes are ready for it yet. In that lovely Instagram-tinged world overseas – where Scando and Japanese hipsters wear skirts alongside Kanye West, paired with impeccable tailoring and and an undercut – all us girls fawn over their supreme chic-ness. Now we need the local boys to play along.

Yousef Akbar: Combining sunset-tinged colours with origami tailoring, oversized perspex-rods-as-fasteners, and a heavy dose of glitter could have been a mess, but here it was pretty enthralling. There is admittedly some more work to do to really make those perspex rods seamless, but nonetheless it was unique. And that’s really what The Innovators is all about.

 

-Bianca O'Neill
@alphabetponymag

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