Melbourne sure turned it on for the first day of spring (hello sunshine!), and if there’s one event at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week fashion disciples generally clamber over others to get to, it’s the Opening Gala Runway. Packed to the brim of Australian fashion heavyweights, this year we were ooo-ed and ahh-ed at the latest from Akira, Aurelio Costarella, Carla Zampatti (who’s currently celebrating 50 years in the biz), Christine, Craig Braybrook Couture, Gwendolynne, Jasongrech, Nevenka, Nicolangëla, Rachel Gilbert, and Zhivago. Lace really seemed to be the star of the night, both on and off the runway. Some of our favourite looks reflected one of Melbourne’s key trans-seasonal aesthetics: it’s all about monochrome, with white being the dominant colour of choice for many.
Read below and find out what we loved about our chosen outfits, plus some awe inspiring couture. XXX
Below: Making it her second year in a row as ambassador for the festival, Ashley Hart (covered in hearts!) looks gorgeously bohemian in this floor-length lace dress and barely-there makeup. She’s taken the expert approach to accessories too, with a small gold clutch and almost non-existent jewellery, apart from her wedding ring of course! Showing off that trademark Hart grin, this is the kind of effortlessness we can only dream of.
Above: Emily’s outfit is all about proportions and she’s absolutely hit the nail on the head. This is ultimate gradient dressing; by off-setting the black and white with a splash of grey, she balances this otherwise monochrome ensemble perfectly. This outfit really speaks for itself: she looks comfortable, chic and undeniably cool. With the addition of her cute navy mini bag, she’s simply oozing Parisian sophistication.
Below: Ladies, take notes: this is why bell sleeves won’t be going away any time soon. Seriously, what’s not to love about this all-white look? For one: the top is to die for, and by paring it with wide-leg trousers, the outfit flows beautifully into a pair of killer shoes: rather than going for a safe, white option, she makes it interesting by hinting just a little bit of edge and attitude, counterbalancing this entire look seamlessly.
Above: This look just screams Hampton’s goddess. Sexy, sophisticated yet somehow cool, calm and totally understated, this dress is just so beautifully versatile: by day it could be pared with flats and a boater hat, and by night, as Kasia shows here, it can be totally transformed: glammed up with a pair of lace-up heels and the pièce de résistance: a statement gold choker. Heaven.
Below: This suit is everything we love about power-dressing 2.0: it’s feminine, commanding and Renae just radiates confidence: we are particularly in love with the tie-up detail on the blazer. Absolute perfection. The devil’s definitely in the details with this look. While clothes-wise she’s sticking with a monochrome palette, we love how she’s mixed it up by injecting just a little bit of colour in the form of plum-coloured lipstick and pedicure.
Above: The great thing about fashion is that one theme, i.e. lace, can be interpreted in so many different ways. Rhiannon takes this gorgeous lace dress and makes it fun, a little bit flirty and sleek, all at the same time. This dress is rather intricate: too much jewellery would have distracted it and made it overwhelming, so the toe rings make a divine and extremely subtle addition. Cute as a button.
Below: We always wait with bated breath to see what Stef and Jess of How Two Live have in store for us, and these looks don’t disappoint. Normally dressed bursting in colour from head-to-toe, the pair has toned down the palette but kept their trademark volume and matching pieces. They clearly have so much fun choosing their outfits. Always challenging traditional fashion rules – like by paring lace, fur and platforms all at once – they somehow they pull it off every time. Seriously, those coats? Can’t even.
Above: We’ve never met an over-the-knee boot we didn’t like, and seriously, how amazing are these? By paring these incredible suede boots with a simple, yet stunning a-symmetrical mini dress and the perfect amount of gold accessories, Vydia has made this look so chic and sophisticated.