Melbourne Spring Fashion Week fashion forecast

12 September 2013

Written by: Steinar Ellingsen

Lots of things happen in spring time. The leaves are green, the flowers start to blossom and the sun begins to reveal itself again. Most importantly, Melburnians get out of their ugg boots and welcome spring fashion.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is an annual Melbourne event that features international names as well as local up-and-coming designers.

Designer Runway 4 was the pinnacle and the finale of MSFW this year and featured Limedrop, above., Búl, Carly Hunter, Gorman, Kuwaii, Honor Among Thieves, Kings Of Carnaby and Jolet.

Here’s our take on their collections.


Honour Among Thieves


Experienced designer, Roy Christou, has returned to the fashion stage after a three year hiatus with his new fashion label Honour Among Thieves, a collection that advocates a smart interpretation of casual.

The showcase began by putting a spin on a youthful outfit when a female model pranced on the stage flaunting a pair of denim overalls paired with a plain white top, a black belt, and black-and-white high heels.

It was a collection that treated the audience to a glimpse of the past with outfits such as denim on denim, leather skirts and baggy jeans.

On top of that, Honour Among Thieves was the first collection of the night to introduce male models to the stage, as well as uni-sex outfits such as jumpers, worn by both female and male models.

The earthy toned collection seemed to be inspired by the popular trends of the 90s, which was a reoccurring theme throughout the night.



limedrop__1378824430_118.209.231.72Good things come in threes. For Melbourne born fashion label Limedrop this meant three models walking together on the runway at the same time. Not a craze we’re particularly fond of because you only get about 30 seconds to see three different outfits. To her credit, Clea Garrick put together a very memorable, integrated collection that got our lipstick pens scribbling. The runway was filled with pastel crystalline floral silk dresses, long skirts cut off half way down the calf, and tailored crop jackets.

The stand out pieces were a flirty A-line peach, blue and purple pastel dress with a cut out detail below the bust – perfect for the beach and hot summer nights. A chic, black strapless number also made an impact, with its textured embossed fabric giving the dress an understated, effortless transition from day to night. Accessories also made a statement with fun coloured, heart-shaped sunglasses, patterned caps and oversized backpacks. This collection is young, fresh and commercial.



jolet__1378825663_118.209.231.72This collection offers an interesting set of outfits from crop tops to funnel pants and cow boy hats.There wasn’t much of a pattern among the designs, apart from the reoccurring dark shades of green, blue, purple and black.

The designs modelled on the runway seemed all over the place, which made it difficult for the audience to connect with the designer, their taste and the ideas behind the collection. In saying that, the range stood out because of the unusual asymmetric cuts featured on many of the dresses.

The backstage dressers should have avoided those ankle-breaking shoes. Throughout the showcase, there were constant whispers and gasps from the audience as the models struggled to walk properly, which shifted the focus from the beautiful Jolet clothes to the models’ feet.



above__1378824607_118.209.231.72above. went beyond with their navy blue and white collection. It was a sophisticated runway that resembled something you would see in the New York Fashion Week designer line up, with its avant garde, wide brimmed, cut-out paper hats.

The collection was a mix of hard and soft, with sheer fabric and whimsical dresses that moved beautifully on the runway. As a label that prides itself on re-imagining timeless styles from a structural point of view, above. certainly modernised the classic 50s modest hemline, and brought back the forever flattering V shaped neckline.

The whole collection was full of irresistible, interchangeable pieces and was a pleasure to watch.


Kings of Carnaby

kings of__1378826870_118.209.231.72King of Carnaby is a one-stop-shop for lovers of formal wear. The Melbourne-based label focuses on an elegant, preppy look with a hint of modern chic.

The designers behind this collection seem to enjoy incorporating a variety of materials into their designs, as the outfits presented a mixture of leather, silk, denim and wool.

However, they certainly played it safe when deciding on the colours of their line, as the collection featured lots of pastel colours with simple patterns.

It’s fair to say that because of this, the range was a little underwhelming and lacked a breath of fresh air – it was anything but a reflection of spring and summer.

This label caters for both men and women, consisting of suits, dresses, jackets and shirts.



Alpha 60

alphaThis was our least favourite collection for several reasons. It was hard to figure out the inspiration behind this number, but it seemed this designer was aiming to create some fashionable hospital gowns.

The collection featured loose-fitting garments, such as dresses, tops, skirts and pants, and all were presented in white, black or different shades of blue.

The outfits were unflattering and just hung off the models’ shoulders, failing to accentuate their figures. And if the outfit doesn’t look good on a runway model, it’s hard to believe it’s going to look good on anyone else.

Alpha 60 is described as “a boutique street wear label with a unique style of men’s and women’s clothing.”

Yep, that sounds about right!



bul__1378824784_118.209.231.72Búl was another Melbourne-based designer that stood out among the pack for its clean lines and flattering cuts.

The collection featured high necklines with silk skirts which gave these modern pieces a sophisticated and luxurious feel. It was easy to see and appreciate the quality of the garments.

All the dresses, skirts and tops stayed within a monochrome colour scheme which kept the runway looking very fresh, elegant and timeless. If you’re going to invest in a designer piece this year it should be this skirt. It’s made from 100 per cent silk and the perfect length and style for any type of occasion.



carlyhunter__1378824902_118.209.231.72Carly Hunter

Seeing Birkenstocks as a primary footwear choice on a fashion runway was a first, and hopefully it will be a last for Melbourne designer, Carly Hunter.It seemed as though the designer was going for an effortless, causal look but it was poorly executed, with oversized and unflattering floor length t-shirt dresses, and skorts – shorts that are made to look like a skirt – that do nothing for the female figure.

For a collection that is classed as commercial “ready-to-wear”, the pieces were eccentric to the point that they belonged exclusively on the runway and not in people’s wardrobes.




Gorman has been an iconic part of the Australian fashion landscape for over a decade, and rightly so, with its attention to detail, impeccable fit and fresh perspectives.

This collection was by far the most cohesive and considered production with the inclusion of geometric lines and triangular patterns in each outfit, and a consistent black and white colour palette.

The runway also threw in some surprises. An ensemble composed of a distressed, paint-splattered denim jacket and matching high waisted shorts was quite reminiscent of the 90s denim on denim look. A short silver shift dress also dazzled the runway. However, the socks and sandals combination is definitely a bad idea. While designers may still insist upon it, we suggest you ignore it completely.


What’s hot:

Navy on black

Mid calf, high-waisted skirts

All white ensembles

Leather caps

Tailored crop pants


What’s not:

Socks and sandals

Platform sandals

Over-greased slick hair

Oversized T-shirt dresses


Photos via @msfw13 Instagram account.


Ivana KrsteskaTHUMBIvana Krsteska is a third year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe and a staff writer for upstart. You can follow her on twitter: @Ivana_Krsteska




Emily GookTHUMBEmily Gook is a third year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University and a staff writer for upstart. You can follow her on twitter: @EmilyGook