Tag Archives: Rosemount Australian Fashion Week

Australian fashion swimming overseas.

Yes, yes I will be writing about Zara, when the storm calms down a bit. Though you can read my previous posts about Zara here and here.

There is no doubt, many Australian fashionistas who know lots about international fashion. I too, have from time to time posted fashion trends from overseas. But how does Australian fashion fair overseas?

Imran Amed, editor of the Business of Fashion attempts to answer my question. He was a guest of IMG at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week.

Australian fashion has an image problem. When I mentioned to friends that I was thinking of attending Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in Sydney, the reaction ranged from raised eyebrows to incredulous laughter. Others quipped that the sum total of Australia’s contribution to global fashion could be distilled down to Ugg boots and swimwear.

Gwyneth Paltrow in her Uggs

Is this true? Yes Australia designs awesome swimwear and practical wear (Ugg boots should never been seen outside the comforts of your home, I’m looking at you Gwyneth Paltrow), but we also have great designers such as Martin Grant or Collette Dinnigan. They might not work at established Fashion Houses, or be at cutting edge of fashion, such as Christopher Kane but Martin and Collette create beautiful, timeless pieces made from luxurious fabrics.

Martin Grant - AW11 - Look 11

In multiple ways, it seems the cards are stacked against the Australian fashion industry. Apart from the fact that Sydney is more than 20 hours away by plane from all of the major fashion capitals, the value of the Australian dollar has increased by over 100 percent in the last ten years, from 53 to 106 Australian cents to the US dollar. This has made products exported from Australia very expensive, though raw materials and services from abroad have also therefore become much cheaper, an important consideration in a country where local apparel manufacturing is scarce.

This is very true, don’t you think? It would be very difficult to compete in a market that is over saturated. For example a Camilla & Marc retails on net-a-porter in the same price range as 3.1 Philip Lim, Zac Posen, Stella McCartney and Missoni where labels have brand recognition for style and quality.

Imran further discusses the arrival of fast fashion and the online disconnect, adding that “Australia is now the third or fourth most important market for many international fashion e-tailers, a ranking that is disproportionate to the country’s relatively small population. [Yet] Australian retailers have been very slow to move online, citing complications with logistics and complaining about the unfair tax advantages… If Shopbop can get the goods all the way from America to Australia without issue, it’s surprising that local retailers cannot even organise themselves to deliver domestically”. Overall, a very balanced post that raises some good points.

What is being done to promote and support our fashion industry and in turn, what is the industry planning to do to compete with the arrival of international fast fashion labels and the growth of online shopping? Should we be tapping into China? China is a new market that has the potential to embrace new brands.  There is a lot at stake given that the broader textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industries in Australia provide over 48,000 jobs, generate exports worth $1.6 billion, and contribute $2.8 billion to our economy each year.*

Do you have any ideas? What do you think about the business-ey side of fashion?

images: Kitmeout; Martin Grant; Net-a-porter
*Statistics obtained from a Media Release by Senator Kim Carr dated 19 September 2008. Politicians are known for their accuracy in figures, right?


As the snow falls… on RAFW

It is ridiculously freezing in Melbourne this week, with wind, rain, hail and snow (in some areas). So I turn my attention to somewhere warmer. Sydney and Fashion Week!  The blogosphere has been going nuts with posts, videos and twitter updates (I still have yet to figure out twitter, am I showing my age?), but I’m admiring from afar as my austere job doesn’t gel with watching fashion shows. Pity. They could probably benefit from being introduced.

Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2-6 May showcases the look for SS11/12. I think Australian fashion is quite different to the northern hemisphere. We have our own style, which tends to be trans-seasonal (reflecting our mild* weather) and less formal. Even our premier red carpet event, the Logies does not compare in any way, shape or form to the Oscars, BAFTA or my favourite red carpet event, the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But I do love our style, especially as we’re not hostage to the trends produced each season. The French is also fan of the quality, over quantity in fashion, but they tend to have both! So what’s new this year?


Lover the label - RAFW - SS11/12

Designers Susien Chong and Nic Briand of Lover were back this year after a 5 year hiatus from RAFW and boy did they come back with a bang. Taking inspiration from the Chinese mythology The White Serpent, Lover’s SS2011/12 collection bought to life the beauty of romance “tempered by tragedy”. It was unmistakably Lover, with the right balance of femininity (lace) with a bit of edge (leather and sharp tailoring) and a controlled colour palette of red, white and black.

Lover the label - RAFW - SS11/12

Bright Colours

Obviously SS will mean colour (debatable if you live in Melbourne). So it really shouldn’t be a surprise, but the colours have been bright and across the colour spectrum rather than the citrus colours of previous years.  Alex Perry, an Australian institution, showcased a couple of pieces that I fancied. I’m not traditionally a fan as I think he designs for glamazons rather than vertically challenged gals, not to mention that well… he tends to design dresses that are just that. Nothing fancy, just straight down the road. This goes back to my initial point about Australian fashion.  Anyway, this collection was inspired by Cuba, so it was largely based on the colours of turquoise, aqua, lime, tangerine with a variety of cuts and tailoring.

Alex Perry - RAFW - SS11/12

The year also sees the return of Josh Goot after 3 years away, building up his label in NY and London. His tailoring still immaculate, but this time focusing on a voluminous silhouette with an eye-popping palette of fluoro pink, cobalt blue, green, silver and white that certainly would have been a fun show to watch.

Josh Goot - RAFW - SS11/12

Though the best part about Fashion Week? What the Editors are wearing! Seriously, fashion is their jobs and Editors are meant to be CEOs or Ministers of Fashion. Yet, surprisingly some Editors looked a bit average. Why am I surprised? Some Ministers are very average, Justin Madden or Stephen Conroy anyone?

Picture 1: AWW – H. McCabe, Ed. Picture 2:  Harper’s Bazaar – E. McCann, Ed. with Grazia – K. Hush, Ed. Picture 3: InStyle – K. Hume, Fashion Ed with K. McCallum, Ed

Picture 4: Madison – E. Renkert, Ed. Picture 5: STYD – J. Cullen, Ed. Picture 6: Sydney Magazine – P. McCarthy, Fashion Director

Is it me, or are their names weirdly similar? Anyway, what do you think of the Editors outfits? What did you think was a standout of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week?

*I think Australia is considered a temperate climate as the high and low temperatures are not as extreme as other places. Though it is hard to tell lately.

images are credited to: Getty, Ohjamie and Life.Styled.