Fashion Week Diary Day 4: Dion Lee, Christopher Esber And More

Pedestrian’s Rosemount Australian Fashion Week guest blogger Thea Basiliou updates her RAFW Diary with a full wrap up of day four. Yesterday Thea – owner and buyer for Brisbane boutique Blonde Venus, stopped into showrooms to take an up-close-and-personal gander at collections by Arnsdorf, Christopher Esber and Cheap Mondays and took in the view of Sydney Harbour at Dion Lee‘s Opera House show…

Hi Everyone!

Can you believe that we had been staying at our hotel all week and just realised that Brisbane artist and mutual friend Gemma Smith was actually staying in the room exactly opposite ours! Talk about a small world experience.

Gemma is in Sydney researching a massive new painting project that she is working on. I can’t wait to hear more about it as I absolutely love Gemma’s work who shows at Sarah Cottier Gallery in Sydney’s Paddington.

Off to the shows…

Runway – Dion Lee “Composure”
Dion repeated his venue and time slot from last year with a 9am start at the Northen Foyer’s Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House. It was another beautiful blue sky day with a big crowd for the show.

Here’s a snap of Monique at the stunning harbourside.

Everyone was keen to see where Dion would be heading. The show invitation was a mock doctor’s prescription and I’d say that he might have needed an aspro and a lie down after doing this collection. I’m not sure if you know, but Dion actually makes all of his own patterns and most of the designs that he presented were so intricately constructed with such a degree of difficulty I’m sure that you would need a GPS to read/ follow his patterns!

It was certainly a very striking collection with quite a masculine feel. It included quite a broad range of colours from white, pale greys, pastels pinks and blues through to vibrant cerise and electric blues and of course black and featured a lot of digital printing. The digital prints were worked from photographs of metal and plastic and Dion also really pushed his fabrics finishes this time using silicon coating to give a vinyl effect on some pieces.

So in all a brilliantly done technical collection for girls that like a strong, architectural style.

There were some great occasion dresses but I certainly wouldn’t call them easy pieces for an Australian summer which is why you can imagine Dion working in the northern hemisphere to a European market.

It was greatl to see some longer length dresses from him finally and I would say that my favourite piece from the show was this cherry pink sheath dress with a back train.

Runway – The Innovators: Ann Westcott, Leah Hibbert, Emma Mulholland, Charlotte O’Carrogan
This show has become an annual event, where Sydney TAFE present 4 of their strongest graduates.

The four girls collections were very different to each other but surprisingly also very similar. They all had strong elements of digital prints, tribal and folk details including fringing, fur, embroidery and knits. It was a real example of art and craft.

So the level of work was incredible but this is where you have to stand up and say, yes these were very much graduate collections, designed in an uninhibited manner without too many thoughts of commerciality.

My favourite out of these was Anna Westcott but these are early days and it will be one of those cases of them all getting some air and space after the course and seeing what path they pursue.

Showroom – Michael Lo Sordo
It’s so great to get into the showroom after the show and actually see and feel the clothes!

I have to say that Michael’s finish was extraordinary. I loved this whispy pastel print on the crisp white.

I also loved his simple sheath style maxi dresses and sexy white flared jumpsuit, channeling Bianca Jagger.

Showroom – Christopher Esber
This was a real treat as we got to preview Christopher’s collection before it actually hit the runway.

Christopher debuted last year at RAFW with a stunning solo show which was such a highlight of the week. He has been laying low since then and bounced back with this striking modern collection.

Look at this fabulous red!

Me trying on Christopher Esber:

Christopher has worked in some beautiful linen tailoring, leather, solid colour silks and also a little pleating. He has also created some amazing show pieces using rows of looped rubber that gives a kind of western fringing effect.

In a week of tired looking digital prints, Christopher has created a cute placement and also repeat print of a rose corsage complete with baby’s breath! These were my favourite pieces from the collection done in various white shirt shapes and some statement skinny pants. It will be fabulous to see it all on the Runway.

Showroom – Cheap Monday
I’m also buying for our other store The Outpost and popped in to see our friends at Cheap Monday. We have been stocking their fantastic jeans since they launched into Australia some years ago.

The brand is constantly exploring new ideas under the creative direction of Ann-Sofie Back and the latest news is the launch of their new underwear collection! The guys collection is fantastic and super easy with a range of undies ranging from “tighties” through to woven cotton boxer shorts. The girls collection is also nice and modern using soft micro fiber stretch, fine mesh and pretty lace in a full collection including some great high waisted knickers.

Cheap Monday’s Reg Grundy’s

This collection will launch in Australia from October onwards and I’m sure will make everyone’s life easier, especially for gift giving. I mean how hard is it now to get cool guy’s underwear? Yay!

Showroom – Arnsdorf
It was great to see this collection in the real. It reaffirmed all of the pieces that I liked from the runway and there’s a lot of great pieces here to wear all summer long for an easy, chic look.

I love this Minty Fresh Blouse and Sexy White Flares.

I also love this topstitch detail on the linen which will be great to wear and accessorise with all of the neon pink that is coming through.

So, Monique and I kept going and plowed through some more accessory viewings, finally getting back to the hotel wondering what happened to breakfast and lunch? I remember breathing in some beetroot chips and Mo inhaled a fruit bar at some point. We had a massive chow down at a Surry Hills Japanese restaurant that specialises in gluten free and vegetarian – AWESOME.

See you tomorrow,
Thea X