Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia: Alice McCall

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AliceMcCall-styleonthecouch-sydneyfashionweek-6London born, Australian designer Alice McCall founded her namesake label in 2004 following a career as a stylist, working with fashion titles such as Dazed & Confused and pop and rock icons Beyonce and Deborah Harry.  The brand reflects all of this history and development: McCall’s is a brand of feminine charm meets bohemia meets rock star cool.

It is claimed that Kate Moss helped McCall get her first break:

“While working as a stylist in London in the late 1990s, McCall began creating and selling one-off silk tops and dresses through a select few London stores. Moss snapped some up and heads turned.” – Vogue Australia

A very characterful collection for the recent Sydney Fashion Week, McCall brought us her usual eclecticism, serving us bold lip prints, sheer and mesh fabrics and frills and flounces in her 10th anniversary line.  Prints were the highlight – some styles featured galaxies-meets-Lawrence-of-Arabia-meets-vintage-pin-ups – expect Chloe Sevigny and Alexa Chung to be wearing these very soon.

“[In 2004] The Alice McCall girl was born, magnetic and glowing; pretty and in love and completely carefree. Unsurprisingly, international attention followed, and following the brand’s AW06 showcase at London Fashion Week, the collection was applauded by Vogue UK: ‘If we gave out cups at the end of Fashion Week, Alice McCall would have a hat trick: best newcomer, prettiest collection and easily the most popular in class’.”  - MBFWA

You can browse and purchase McCall at ASOS, Nasty Gal, David Jones and online via her e-boutique.

Photos: Sonny Vandevelde.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia: Cameo

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Cameo-sydneyfashionweek-styleonthecouch3Sydney Fashion Week, whilst perhaps not the most well-known of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week cities, is one of my favourites. I have an affection for Australian designers, you might recall Shona Joy recently on the blog, along with Dion Lee.

Cameo have produced several experimental and directional collections since their inception in 2010.  The collection shown at Sydney is titled ‘Optics’, inspired by the refraction of light; it’s behaviour and properties including its interaction with matter.  The designers explored this concept beautifully with the use of prisms shapes, holographic prints and neon colours.

“Each of Cameo’s 11 yearly collections are created around a central theme. This concept is teased out through the shapes, fabrication and design details of the garments. . “Every step of a garment’s creation involves directed artistic input,” says Head Designer Kathryn Forth. “From the drawing stage to blocking the pattern pieces, from developing the exclusive fabrication to designing the prints or artwork to grace the fabric.” The central theme is encapsulated by the beautiful lookbooks and campaign imagery which encompasses each collection.

To wear the Cameo design is to embrace a creative concept and lay further expression upon it. Each time you wear a Cameo piece, it continues to evolve with your own unique personal exploration.  “Styling a cameo Cameo garment is more than just complimenting design. You are creating an overall look which reflects your mood or evokes the persona you want to project for that day.” – Cameo

You can browse Cameo at several online boutique including Fashion Bunker.

Photos: Sonny Vandevelde.

Trend Report: AW14/15 Fashion Week Series

In this, my round-up of the trends from the catwalks of New York, London, Paris and Milan for AW14/15 – sit back and take a journey through the styles, the palette and the details you will be wearing next year….

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1. Texture & embellishment

Feathers and hair and more.  From Nina Ricci’s voluptuous fur-trimmed coats belted at the waist, to McCartney’s fringed mini-dresses and Rodarte’s  Mongolian fur collars, there was plenty of fluff on show.   There was some lovely quilting at Dior and Temperley London, and even Katrantzou left behind her signature prints and turned to embroidery and embellishment this season.

Jewels and stars were big themes for AW14/15.   Dolce and Gabbana’s glittering silver and black cocktail dresses and Preen’s galactic offerings made for some regal touches for Fall.

Those in question of the texture trend for AW14 need look no further than Gareth Pugh, whose wintery white, sculptural and surreal voluminous sheepskin dresses took fashion in a whole new conceptual direction.

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2. Metallics

Back in Spring several designers showed glossy metallics along their catwalks and autumn winter 2014 continues this trend.  Marrying this trend with point 1) above, Saint Laurent Paris had glittery go-go boots and shimmering mini dresses; Matthew Williamson presented us with liquid silver glomesh micro-dresses.  Barbarella would be proud.

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3. Oversized sweaters

This could quite possibly be my favourite trend for Fall. Stella McCartney‘s oversized knits looked like the most comfortable piece of clothing I’ve ever seen along the catwalk.  Give me an English pub, an open fire, a glass of wine, one of these sweaters and some knee-high suede boots and I’m firmly parked up for the weekend.

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4. Colour: pastels vs brights

Spring 2014 saw a sweet as sugar candy rush for the summer palette. For Fall pastels are still around but more subdued in tone; think Gucci‘s ‘My Little Pony palette’ of desaturated pinks, greens and blues.  On the other side of the spectrum, colours were zesty and bright; think Dior’s colour clashes and House of Holland’s bold and colorful ‘Debauched Debutantes’. 

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Of all the shades of Fall this winter, red and forest green stood out for me as winners. Karlie Kloss wore an amazing blood red gown for the Donna Karen show.

4. Shoulders and necks

Victoria Beckham highlighted the shoulders with her (again, slightly oversized) sweaters and coats.  That little bit shrugged-off-the-shoulders, casual autumnal look will run and run this winter.  Necks were key – Jil Sander showed us beautifully streamlined, funnel neck coats and Iceberg (a new brand find for me) gave us neck-choking collars to beat the chill.

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5. Kingdoms & fairytales

Finally, the recent collections were fit for the kings and queens of days gone by as much as they were for the dark, ethereal and otherworldly characters of fairytales.  Dolce & Gabbana gave us shimmery medieval knights and modern Red Riding Hoods; Rodarte and Preen referenced the Galactic Empire and McQueen Rivendell meets Games of Thrones; ravens mixing with ghostly apparitions along the catwalk.  Is it simply up to you, Blog Reader, to decide which Kingdom you wish to reside in…..

Images: Dazed Digital and Sonny Vandevelde.