From recent graduates to established brands with cult international followings, we track the designers with the most interesting applications of colour and texture showcasing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney.
Odd is exactly what the name suggests. Its creator, and graduate of Fashion Design Studio (FDS) TAFE, Anna Jacobsen, wants to represent the bold and confident girl who defies traditional fashion trends. She says her brand is a way to express individual personality with humour and eccentricity. Her experiments with shape and colour paid off in her graduate collection.
Hailing from Perth, the otherworldly and glittery designs of Rach and Jam have earned them international success, having previously showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and at Paris Fashion Week in 2014. Their designs are loved by social media giants like Rihanna, Russell Brand and Beyoncé – gaining them international attention. Their designs are transparent, fluffy and sequined, in often surprising and over the top silhouettes.
As a graduate designer from UTS, Meredith Bullen is interested in ‘the juxtaposition of unique contrasting fabrics, oversized shapes and limitless creativity’. Her designs evoke a raw sense of fluidity, with her graduate collection depicting the connection between man and the environment of the early settlers of Australia. Catch Meredith Bullen in New York as she completes her MFA in Fashion Design and Society at Parsons School of Design.
Another UTS grad, Rachael O’Brien, looks to highlight the ever-increasing need and role for sustainable fashion. You can see the inspiration of satellite images in her combination of mesh and weaving – coming together to paint a map of human activity and environmental impact. The strategic implementation of interesting weave placements showcases her creativity and the thought-provoking nature of her collection.
Don’t call Double Rainbouu a typical swimwear brand. They aim to design in juxtaposition to the ‘lifestyle’ that regular swimwear brands represent. This brand is for the ‘alt kid’ and aims to show the beach lifestyle in a new, raw and real light. The two founders, Toby Jones and Mikey Nolan, (who are also the former art directors of Ksubi) look to fashion and Australian culture for their inspiration.
Discount Universe peddles a success story many Australian brands aspire to. Designing limited edition and highly intricate designs, Discount Universe has shot to the top of many celebrities go-to lists, including Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. Their designs evoke a sense of ‘in your face’ sexuality and cater to the girl who’s unafraid to stand out in a room wearing sequins and mesh. The brand has been shot for Vogue Italia, Japan and UK, and has moved from being based in Melbourne to New York City.
Chris Ra Lin
The only menswear designer in this list, Chris Ra Lin is a Melbourne-based designer toeing the line between strength and vulnerability through the structural nature and styling of his designs. The detail involved in his knitwear evokes a softness not often represented in contemporary menswear.
ZRD is a crazy collection of fantastical colours and geometric shapes. Drawing on her past experiences studying music, founder and TAFE graduate Ruby Zhang captures the spirit and rhythm of sound and displays it in a visual context. Bright styling and interesting textural combinations are what make her latest collection stand out.
Romance Was Born
Romance Was Born is texturally and culturally one of the most interesting brands to emerge from Australia. Using a combination of techniques, including embroidery, applique and fringing, for their many collections, this contemporary Australian fashion powerhouse shows no signs of slowing down.