RAFW Day 5 – It’s A Wrap (me in a blanket and send me home)

This is the final installment of the Fashion Week diary from our special RAFW guest blogger Thea Basiliou. She went above and beyond the call of duty, giving us a truly fabulous personalised – and quality controlled! – look at the highlights from the week…

Arnsdorf / Runway Show

Getting to a show at 9am in the morning on the last day of fashion week is difficult but this was really worth the effort.

Jade [Sarita] showed her collection in a beautiful sunny room with a pale marble floor on the ground floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Instead of the usual strong faced approach, the models eyes were lit with optimism and they were, well, kind of smiling.
The simple modern hair was under the direction of Todd Arndt from Brisbane salon Vogue Internationale and the make-up by M.A.C. was light and fresh with soft peach lips.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, this was a another push forward from Jade with some real grown up shapes, complex seaming and shapes with neoprene inserts and boning – but it just looked really modern and easy.

My favourite colours in her collection were the nude, amber, tan and fossil tones. She too used yet another digital crystal print, but the colour mix of the print was beautiful and also the fact that it was printed on a grainy 100% organic cotton gave it a different feel to what’s around. Jade told me that she wanted it to have the effect of a painting on a canvas and I think that she achieved that.

Arnsdorf in the showroom

My favourites in her collection were actually the plain coloured canvas pieces like the (longer length) button dress and quartz skirt, the vest and shorts and naturally the belted coat.

It was a great start to the day!

Dion Lee / Showroom

Like I said, I couldn’t wait to get my mitts on some of these pieces. What a revelation to see them in the flesh!

I actually liked the colourful Rorchach prints more than I thought I would. Dion’s cutting has a lot to do with it but the colours within the prints are quite delicious. Actually, Dion’s cutting has a lot to do with all of it!

The soft cotton voile shirt/jacket shapes look so perfect for summer.
The metal collar shirt tips are ingenious. Kind of masculine but really cool and like nothing else.
The pleated pieces leave me virtually speechless. The silk is all hand pleated and then each piece is organically worked and placed and then stitched by hand.

On the plane home last night, I actually had time to think clearly for a (short) while and this is my take on what showed at RAFW this week.

The Colour Palette
I keep repeating this, but it’s all about the MACAROONS.
Blush through to Rose
Peach through to Amber
Nude through to Biscuit
Pistacchio through to Olive
Tan through to Chocolate

Lilac – what’s with that?!
Possibly the world’s most unflattering colour, lilac was in nearly every collection.
Remember that this colour isn’t great if your are a little “veiny”.

There is very little black and Navy is still a hot option.
Tonal dressing is still really strong but clever combinations of unusual hues is also encouraged for a vintage vibe.

Digital Prints
Best done in statement (pyjama) pants or as a statement jacket.
Also interesting when done as a suit but with mixed weights of fabric, like printed sheer blouse with printed solid shorts.

Absolutely essential.
Generally high waisted, some pleated, some flared, some cheeky, some rolled…

Also essential.
Relaxed shapes, think soft tailoring.
Sometimes printed, always comfortable.

The Blouse
Button it up – yes all the way!
Then tuck it in or tie it at the waist.
A rolled sleeve is also fine.
They can cross from a sharp masculine cut to a yoked western number.

The Sleeve
Forget strapless or shoestring because everything has a sleeve.
The round neck, short sleeved silk T-shirt has overtaken the tank.
Also strong is the exposed shoulder / slashed sleeve. That’s to make up for buttoning right up to your neck!

The Jacket
Sure, it’s not ideal for our summer but what can you do.
Cut with an ever so slightly extended shoulder (those Balmain days are so over) and a masculine edge, the summer jacket seals the deal on any chic outfit.

Again, not ideal for our climate but it’s probably been about 25 years since it’s been socially acceptable to wear a leather T-Shirt, skirt, shorts or whatever.
If you like it, just do it.

All of a sudden, everyone is doing some form of swimwear.
It’s about time.
Shapes are reasonably classic with even numbers on the one-piece versus bikini and they are always, always printed.

The Pasty Face
Pale, matte faces with no colour can make you look tired even if you are a gorgeous model.
Could also be difficult when done wearing lilac.
Try layering different neutral shades to create more depth and shading.
Keep it light and fresh with super pale pastels for eyes OR cheeks OR lips and always nails.

The Hair Farmer
Hair looks are still super long and all about looking like you haven’t tried at all.
Soft natural tones in colour worn in a soft bedhead style or pull back in a slightly scruffy ponytail.

The other strong look was the crown treatment with either high toussled quiffs or the Wang effect i.e., flattened roots and choppy, strong, dry ends.

The Word on the Street
The general mood was that most designers had very much stuck to “their thing”, updating their signature looks with new colours and some prints.

It would have been great to see some more risk takers instead of just running with ideas from international trend reports.
Sure you want it to sell, but if it’s to be shown on the Runway, it shouldn’t look like a chain store collection.

I also would have liked to have seen more longer lengths and more wash and wear fabrics.

Here’s what I heard on the ground…

Young and Fresh
Sara Phillips, Therese Rawsthorne, Karla Spetic, Antipodium and Carly Hunter.

All About the Show
Romance Was Born, Ellery

“I Saw Some Nice Pieces at…”
Lover, Bassike, Flannel and Dhini

The Antwerp Factor
Christopher Esber and Phos Phoro

Contemporary Stand-outs
Dion Lee and Arnsdorf

Party of the Week
The Antipodium Cocktail party on Thursday night.
Killer drinks with killer dance floor tracks, there should always be at least one good night that you can really let your hair down.
So disappointed that I missed this one 🙁

Thanks for Having Me
I can’t believe that this is my last post as I was just getting in to the swing of it! I’m looking forward to 8 hours sleep tonight though.
Thanks so much to Pedestrian.tv for inviting me to be involved this week.

I hope that you have enjoyed the updates and hope that you can appreciate that this was essentially my daily work diary while I was at RAFW.

Every year I come down, I am blown away by how lucky we are to have such a fantastic event in such a stunning setting. The weather is always great and the Opera House and Sydney Harbour make for a beautiful back-drop.

I think back to what it was like before we had an Australian Fashion Week and don’t know how we survived.
Thanks to all the wonderful team at RAFW for making this happen and I look forward to many more.

Thea X

Thank you so much to Thea, who we recently saw on Susie Bubble’s blog Style Bubble:

To hear more from Thea and all the news on her fantastic Brisbane boutique Blonde Venus check out her blog.

Blonde Venus:

ph: +61 7 3216 1735

Email: news@blondevenus.com.au

707 Ann Street
Fortitude Valley
Brisbane Queensland
Australia 4006

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday
10am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm