Always a highlight of Melbourne Fashion Week, the last of the Street Runways brought a heavy dose of spring wardrobe envy. Street Runway 4 presented 11 designers , many with great sustainability credentials. Street Runways are always going to bring an element of risk in a city notorious for its changeable weather. In a late stage change, Melbourne Fashion Week organisers changed the location from over the Yarra River on the Seafarers Bridge, to The Boatbuilders Yard next door. Yet, it turned out to be a perfect Spring afternoon.
For slow fashion brand autark, luxurious natural fibres are key. Releasing a single trans-seasonal collection of investment pieces a year, autark’s new collection features an autumnal palette of tan, orange, khaki and cream. With breathable fabrics of silk, cotton and linen, their feminine designs incorporate cinched waists and tied detailing.
Founded and designed by Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco, Ngali’s purpose is simple: “to tell the story of our country”. Her latest collection is a collaboration with Lindsay Mala, translating her speckled, earthy, organic shapes onto loose fitted midi dresses.
Melbourne based independent label SZN’s ethos ‘fashion is art’ shines in this collection. Using upcycled denim, designer Suzan Dloughy creates minimal garments that blend mismatched garments together. All shades of denim are used to create dresses, tops and bucket hats. Paired with tie-dye socks, it’s a refreshing reminder that repurposing clothing can be cool.
The R Collective
There are three R’s for The R Collective: it Rescues textile waste, Reuses materials by upcycling and Reimagines the destiny of textile waste. Showcasing a line of redefined street wear, The R Collective’s sustainable brand has simplified military style with criss-cross buckles and inverted white stitching. Elasticized pant bottoms reminded the audience that comfort is stylish, while the whole range was complimented by Sans Beast’s luxe vegan bags.
For North, it’s simply about sharing Australian made pieces featuring hand-screen printed fabrics and prints from artists from Pirlangimpi, Milikapiti and Wurrumiyanga, of the Tiwi Islands. With a soundtrack incorporating subtle sounds of a digeridoo, models showcased simple and practical buttoned smocks in navy, mustard and khaki prints.
IVY NIU’s signature midi tent dresses combined with bright brush-stroke checks create fun and whimsical summer essentials. Ivy’s signature tent dress designs are versatile, practical and comfortable.
Behind Collective Closets are two African born and Melbourne raised sisters, Fatuma and Laurinda. Their pieces are inspired by Melbourne’s chic city scene and East Africa’s bold and untamed aesthetic. The result: simply constructed garments of linen and cotton, in warm colours and cream, with the splashes of monochromatic zigzags and cobalt blue.
Blind Grit has stepped away from athleisure in their latest line, but their vision of championing those who are faced with disadvantage still stands strong. Oriental-inspired dresses with bow-tie fronts and one-shoulder denim jumpsuits brought a modern twist to contemporary day wear.
Timeless, minimalistic and versatile designs are at the centre of Laura Keogh’s label. Natural fibres and dead stock are used in small batch production. On the runway, structured, dark grey linen pieces contrasted against light, satin and tulle in shades of salmon and white.
Cedar & Onyx
Designers Jess & Kathryn have created this vibrant womenswear label where sustainability is key and versatility is given a high priority. Their latest collection features their take on elegant, feminine workwear. Loose suits, jumpsuits and tops come in subtle hues and burnt rust, while colourful stripes are paired with bright yellow mules.
Melbourne based ASIYAM is a contemporary, emerging brand that focuses on simple, minimalistic pieces with an Middle-Eastern twist. Accordion pleats dominated the runway while high neckline maxi dresses paired with thin, long-lined coats showcased their modest line designed especially for Ramadan.
Photos: Lucas Dawson Photography