Thea’s RAFW Fashion Week Diary: Day Four

Day Four of Australian Fashion Week through the eyes of Pedestrian guest blogger Thea Basiliou from Brisbane boutique Blonde Venus, including Dion Lee, Dhini and legendary band The Cult.

Dion Lee / Runway Show

Well, you try getting to a 9am show at The Opera House after a night at The Shady Pines!

Dion opened his show with a series of laser cut neoprene pieces and I mean INTRICATELY laser cut which were a marvel to look at but possibly a little difficult to wear.

The collection then flowed into a series of Rorschach inspired prints in tones of black, ivory, grey and lilac which has been featured repeatedly in collections this week. The prints were striking, effective but somehow seemed a little familiar, which I think is a chain effect due to the strong and inspiring digital prints that have been coming out of London the last few years from designers like Peter Pilotto, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou and Alexander McQueen.

Another season trend, the crystal effect, worked on the heels of the Terry Biviano shoes but some of the jewellery was perhaps a little too obvious and totally unnecessary.

Refreshing were the light as air shirt pieces with the custom made collar tips and the introduction of pleating to the collection, which intensified and crescendoed to finish the show with the best until last – strong pastel dresses in blue and lilac with incredible twisted knots of pleating that looked pretty and flattering rather than too difficult or too conceptual. I can’t wait to see these in the showroom!

These pieces are the reason why Dion Lee is one of the brightest shining stars of Australian fashion.

On the run…

Matt and I split up today so that we could get as much done as possible.

Matt went off to see Stu with the latest Cheap Monday collection and a bit of man talk.

I missed the Gary Bigeni show by 5 minutes – ouch!

I heard some feedback from other buyers and looked through the show photos myself. I think that we [Blonde Venus] may have been the first store to actually stock Gary’s collection 7 or 8 years ago so I’m quite familiar with his work.

This collection today was classic Bigeni in the current pastel colour palette du jour. So no surprises here but it is, as always, a neat collection of wonderfully easy to wear, modern shapes.


The MoCA is about a one minute walk from central RAFW!

In between, I paid another visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art which only has one exhibition on at the moment, in anticipation of the Sydney Biennale.

This exhbition called We Call Them Pirates Here takes it’s title from a painting by Aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd. The exhibition has been curated by the Biennale artistic director David Elliott and he has selected works from the MoCA’s collection under this year’s theme of The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age.

My favourite pieces were two optical illusion paintings by Maria Kozic called Manster, where the image shifts from a man’s face to that of a werewolf.

Manster by Maria Kozic

This exhibition runs until August 29.

For more information, visit

Dhini / Runway Show

Dhini Pararajasingham studied fashion design in Tokyo before graduating from Melbourne’s RMIT with a BA in Fashion Design. Dhini moved to London and worked as a design assistant for the conceptual London label Boudicca.

In 2007, Dhini launched her own label, back home in Australia with her memorable collection entitled The Reconstructed Tailor. Her tailoring is so strong and timeless that I am still wearing a trench coat from that first collection now. It is certainly one of her strengths.

This year, she was a finalist in the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Designer Award and this is her first solo show at RAFW.

Today’s show started out loud and strong with some upbeat kind of trippy Indian disco.
It was fabulous.
Even more fabulous was the hair for the show which apparently took 18 hairdressers to achieve under the direction of Brad Ngata.

For this collection, Dhini took inspiration from Indian Mughal architecture which led to her compose a print using specific shapes and motifs found on Mughal buildings.

Dhini also drew on shapes and draping techniques from Mughal style dress which she translated in a very contemporary way. I recognized some repeat shapes in the collection today, or should I say, the basis of them.

Dhini had reworked them and added by giving jackets and dresses interesting new twist details in the back, making you follow the model through the room. Her skirts were given extra soft draping and her draped pants looked particularly fresh in her digital print.

The Cult / Live!

I had to apologize to Gail Sorronda for not being able to come to her show last night but when I explained to her that I was going to see legendary band The Cult play, she was totally fine about it.
The band’s enigmatic lead singer Ian Astbury toured with the modern incarnation of The Doors and you know how much Gail loves The Doors!

The Cult were amazing and played all of those fantastic songs that we hoped to hear like “She Sells Sanctuary”, “Love Removal Machine”, “Rain”, “Fire Woman”

We think the stand out of the night was “Wildflower”.

Watch The Cult live

How is this related to fashion week, I hear you say?

Well, if you are familiar with Ian Astbury’s style you wouldn’t even be questioning.

Ian has always been known for his sexy and distinctive stage wardrobe and he loves to keep up to date with labels and what’s happening.

Can you believe that before the band played in Brisbane on Wednesday night, Ian dropped in to both Blonde Venus and The Outpost for a spot of shopping?

I can’t believe that I wasn’t there for that.

Me with Ian Astbury, backstage after the show

Mutual friend, Shawn from Supply actually took me backstage to meet the man in person.

I was too shy to ask him if he remembered signing my Electric album in 1987 but what a night!

They are now off to shows in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

So, due to the late gig we also missed the Antipodium Cocktail Party 🙁

I will have to get all the gossip today.

On our last legs…

It’s the last day of RAFW today and I’m off to see the Arnsdorf show any minute!

I have already said bye to Nina from and Phil from

Joining us finally, is Tommy Ton from Jak and Jil who had to stay back in New York to photograph the Met Ball for

Thea X