First published on 4 May 2012. Updated on 8 May 2012.
Beginning with one of the longest entry queues we’ve seen this MBFWA, the Innovators was definitely the talk of the town on day four. The group show, composed of the six best TAFE graduate collections, is famed for its prophetic quality: many of Australia’s best designers have gone on from this graduate show to huge success.
After a brief introduction the show got underway with an award winning collection from young designer, Kayleen Milner, whose work has landed her an internship with international powerhouse, Diane von Furstenburg. Milner’s collection had a rich, earthy vibe, working from a palette of forest green, burnt oranges, dark browns and creamy whites. The collection’s innovative use of material and structure was made all the more impressive by the wearability of the clothes. Milner succeeded in bringing couture to the street level.
Next was the ethereal work of Carlie Waterman. Falling somewhere between the realms of wood nymph and Provençal table setting, the collection was defined by its attention to detail, incredible fabrication and amazing headdresses.
All the stops were pulled out for Cynthia Thai’s collection, which featured generous splashes of electric colour and a garden of applique flowers.
Variety was the name of the game when it came to Stephanie Goerlach’s work. The whole colour spectrum was embraced in this patchwork of girlie abandon, and the oversize sweater dress in 80s neon was a particular favorite of ours.
The pace changed dramatically with the arrival of Yuliy Gershinsky and his collection of futuristic men's sportswear. Fitted sweatpants were matched with slick windbreakers and wetsuit jumpers – all in tones of robotic monochrome.
The show closed with a bang in Christopher Baldwin’s collection of (literally) dazzling womenswear. Ranging from a metallic gold jumpsuit to a fringed cocktail dress in obsidian black, the show sparkled from beginning to end.
With a much bigger group of designers than there have been in previous years, it was pretty clear to everyone involved that these kids have more than enough talent to take up the mantle of Australian fashion.