Fashion Week Day Two: Ellery, Dion Lee And Taco Dog

Day two of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia brought with it biblical weather that veered from blinding sunshine to , Band-Aids and some impressive Australia design. In our second daily photo diary we caught ELLERY, Manning Cartell, From Britten, and a special presentation for Dion Lee at the Opera House, getting pics on the fantastic Sony Xperia Z smartphone.

The ELLERY show was held in one decimated story of a beautiful old building in the Sydney CBD. You could literally smell the post-construction dust settling off the exposed brick walls. In fact, upon entering the building there was a cage of scaffolding draped with drop sheets. And not in a faux-industrial way – in a there was a jackhammer breaking shit in here recently kind of way. But the show space was amazing. [“Amazing space” has been one of the most-heard phrases of this week.]
The collection “Renegade” was all about duality: darkness and light, rebels versus the devout, and in keeping with designer Kym Ellery’s fondness for monochrome, a palette comprising variations on black and white. “Renegade” was all about ambitious technique, luxe fabrication (firm silks, gauzy barege, unkempt white fur) and outerwear with much deconstructed tailoring, interesting folding, and sculptural Balenciaga-referencing shapes – such as a cocoon-like deconstructed black coat that fell down to the knee. A highlight of this very wearable line was the return of the signature ELLERY flares, rendered in a great Romantic floral print on black silk. Would.
The atmosphere had a fun energy with stomping models at full stride – including exclusive international face Hanne Gaby – to a pumping soundtrack of Rihanna’s “Diamonds”.  Kym positioned her well-dressed brethren across the front row crowd, including Nash Edgerton, a bevy of international and local bloggers, and my favourite guest of the week, Taco Dog!
Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Vintage getting hang-time with Taco Dog:
Show notes at Ellery:
White lace sheath under sleeveless coat:
Deconstructed tailoring against exposed brick:
Melbourne menswear team From Britten presented an army of male models with hair in fantastic aerodynamic, punk forward slicks and a tight edit of utilitarian street-leaning tailored gear for dudes. Focus on zippers and snaps on gauzy silk bombers and varsity jackets enhanced the aesthetics well as serving a function, wool suits with short pants featured outward seams running the length of the elbow, and there was a lot of solid shirting. All in all no major ground broken here, but the entire collection is cool, immediately wearable and very well constructed.
I popped backstage before the Manning Cartell runway show to take a closer look at the collection and was really impressed by the light trans-seasonal knits and their creative use of fabric (Rachel Rutt modeled an amazing, oversized white coat in sheer perforated fabric with creamy leather cuffs and collar), and the contemporary white lace pieces that the Manning girls do so well season to season. Good inspiration for the modern bride.
Rachel Rutt look rack before the show:
The ghd hair team getting to work:
Manning Cartell wheels:
White hot runway at Manning Cartell:
Dion Lee was not on the MBFWA schedule this year, instead he chose to show a mini collection, called “Windmap”, at a private dinner for 100 at the Sydney Opera House. Major players in attendance included’s long time Dion Lee champion, Maya Singer, and ex-pat Australian Laura Brown, the Features/Special Projects Director of Harper’s Bazaar US. The collection was really an extension of the Autumn/Winter 2013 collection Lee presented in Paris earlier this year and his International Woolmark Prize entry, but his insane patternmaking skills were definitely on show. Looks featured undulating waves of fabric representing the sails of the Opera House and a sexy constructed leather dress made of Dion’s signature cuts and folds – for the warrior babe in us all. The RM Williams boots was a nice Australian touch in front of an impressively international crowd.
Stunning trio of strings: