Here’s What Went Down At Australian Fashion Week Day Two

It’s Australian Fashion Week day two baby!! And I’m back with a vengeance – reporting from the ground to deliver all the shit you actually want to read (hopefully, idk). We’re here for a nice two shows today to whet our appetite before the onslaught of the week truly commences. 

Starting off the morning strong was Liandra’s ‘Essence’ show. Having featured as a designer in last year’s David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway, Liandra Gaykamangu excitingly launched her brand as the second ever Indigenous standalone show. Let me tell you – it did not disappoint. 

With a swift dimming of the lights, the show began with a songline about the ‘guku’ – the native honey bee and ultimate inspiration for the entire collection. It quickly became clear that the collection was strongly tied to Liandra’s own personal connection to Gupupuyngu clan and heritage as an East Arnhem Land indigenous woman. 

Calls of the black cockatoo quickly welcomed the start of the showcase, which featured burnt oranges and deals that extended beyond Liandra’s swimwear range as she entered the new territory of lifestyle. It was cheerful, free and playful, with all swim and athletic prints incorporating Liandra’s hand drawn sketches of her family history and culture. 

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Honestly, it was a strong start and a hard act to follow. The colours were striking, the prints were fun, and the vibes were high. Very rarely do you get wholesome vibes from a show, but Liandra’s was certainly the exception. 

It didn’t take long before I packed up my obnoxiously large bag and made haste to the Bec + Bridge show hosted at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay. 

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Dare I say it, and at the risk of becoming target number one to every year eleven currently in search of a formal dress, I found the show rather underwhelming. There was corporate wear, there was tie dye, there was metallic finishes, there was beading, and it was all at the same time the designer duo were introducing a colourway of mint, plum and yellow. I felt myself outwardly going in to sensory overload with each next model down the runway. 

Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t actively bad – and there were certainly some pieces that I can definitely see 16-year old me grabbing my mother’s wallet for. I’m also an honest reviewer, and for that reason must also shoutout the relaunch of their denim collection which was definitely a stand out. The raw Japanese and indigo laser cut designs made for elevated staples that I could easily see gracing the wardrobe of cool girls. 

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But for me, I think the sour taste was definitely cemented upon quick realisation that the runway’s diversity was seriously lacking – particularly in relation to sizing. It felt like hypocritical creative choice, particularly in light of the entire collection being inspired by sculpting and embracing the female form. It did, but you just had to be a size four. It felt like I’d reach the championship round of ‘is it a fit or is she just skinny’, and I constantly came back to the latter conclusion. As someone who’s never been a size four, and never shopped at Bec + Bridge, it only reaffirmed that maybe this brand just isn’t for me.  

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Wow, that was harsher than I anticipated, but alas that is why we’re here. That’s a wrap for today ladies, see you bright faced and bushy tailed tomorrow. 

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