Everything You Need To Know About MBFWA 2018

MBFWA updates, as they happen.

Hello friends, family, esteemed colleagues and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week devotees! Welcome to this year’s 5-day fashion bender (more commonly referred to as fashion week) here Down Under. This week, the COH team will be running around in both freezing and unseasonably steamy days (cheers, weather, you confusing son of a gun) to bring you all the hautest trends fresh off the runway, and the cutest faces and flyest outfits loitering out the front. Also, we dutifully endeavour to capture the most ~random~ happenings that the four walls of Sydney’s Carriageworks shall inevitably bear witness to during this, the most wonderful time of the year.

With heels that are already blistered c/o ill-fitting heels, a laptop that keeps dying on me, and way too much caffeine in my system, I’ll be here to make sure you know what’s up. But first, a few house rules…

1) Check yourself (in daily), lest you wreck yourself 

We’ll be updating this post regularly (with new content at the top) so make sure to stop by daily, hourly, or heck, every 5 minutes to keep up to speed.

2) Come say g’day to the team if you see us about 

We don’t bite (much).

3) Pop on over to the COH Instagram for the least boring, least annoying #MBFWA spam of your life* 

*Or money back, guaranteed.

Ready? Okay! HERE GOES!


The Crowd At Client Liaison Just Couldn’t Get Enough

And for good reason—Client Liaison’s Deluxe Line “Champagne Affection” show was an absolute hoot. First up, we were treated to a very Australian collection that seemed to take its inspiration from a picture of my dad in the 90s. Acid wash, budgee smugglers, and wind cheaters were all taken for a spin on the red dust catwalk by a lineup of beaut models, to iconic Aussie tunes like John Farnham’s ‘Pressure Down’ and INXS’ ‘Need You Tonight’. The crowd was loving it sick, especially when the band-turned-designers came out to give the most energetic performance we’ve seen in a minute, complete with a mini champagne shower and a lot of gravity-defying dance moves. 

Christopher Esber’s Presentation Was Simply Stunning

Christopher Esber’s collections always make me want to become a cleaner, more sophisticated version of myself, and this year was no exception. With a colour palette mainly comprising of blue, black and white, and subtle silhouettes and cuts, these are exactly the kind of clothes I want to henceforth reach for when I’m invited to very fancy dinners, with very fancy wine (anyone? ANYONE?).


The Street Style Set Continued To Turn It On For Our Camera 

The Romance Was Born Dinner/Show Blew Our Tiny Minds

The RWB show took place schmancy French restaurant, Hubert’s, so we always knew it was gonna be très magnifique. But we certainly weren’t prepared for the nek level affair: drag queens, live jazz, and the most spectacular clothes you ever did see. See above for irrefutable proof of that last claim.

Hansen & Gretel’s Runway Celebrated Strong, Multi-Dimensional Women

Our faves at Hansen & Gretel presented their best ever collection ‘Eve’ on Day 3 of fashion week, and the COH team’s consensus is that we can’t wait to get our mitts on one of everythanggg. The clothes were a beautiful testament to the duality of the H&G woman—who director Ainsley Hansen describes as being “defiant, elegant, playful and ageless”—with hyper-feminine silhouettes and sheer/lacy fabrics sashaying down the runway next to impeccably tailored suits, bold stripes and lace-up combat-esque boots. The double denim look (above) was a standout for us, as were the pink checked garments that have got us thinking about Renée Zellweger’s all-time outfits in Down With Love.

Let’s just say that if the collection was the forbidden fruit, we wouldn’t think twice about taking a bite (gedddddit?). But it wasn’t just the clothes that sent our moods considerably skyward—the music was a total vibe, and the hair was pure #goals (recreate it yourself here).

Ily, guys!

Emilia Wickstead x MatchesFashion’s Show Redefined #VaccayGoals

The Emilia Wickstead x MatchesFashion show happened at Coogee’s iconic Wiley’s baths on Tuesday, and it was truly spectacular. The transportive show threw it all the way back to the 50s, with a vibe that kind of reminded me of what the Von Trapp kids would look like on vacation. The NZ-based designer cited celeb photographer Slim Aarons—renowned for his pool-side images of the rich and famous—as being a massive inspiration for the show, which makes sense given that it looked like one of his pics brought to life. Girls dressed in pastel pink and floral swimsuits, headscarfs, and the sweetest dresses all lounged about on pool chairs, hung out on pontoons, played chess and generally just lived their best vaccay lives under the Autumnal sun.

One thing is for sure, ultra-feminine dressing is back in vogue.

 We Are Kindred Confirmed The Victorian Era Trend Is In Full Bloom
They also confirmed that there’s nothing cuter in the world than twinning with a mini me. Caa-hute!
For hours after the show, we were compelled to use ‘pardon’ instead of our usual ‘what’, so sweet and refined it was.
MacGraw’s Show Was Truly A Thing Of Beauty
When I arrived at the MacGraw show this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Did I just accidentally stumble into the royal wedding?” My quiet concerns that I’d somehow time-travelled and trespassed into a soirée far fancier than I was accustomed to stayed with me as I shook hands with impeccably dressed attendees, soaked in my surroundings (replete with an actual castle mansion, as shown by the above ~highly professional~ images), and witnessed the first model come down the runway to a garden-party-appropriate, mellow track.
The music swiftly changed into a medley of The Zombies, Gwen Stefani and Stevie Nicks, as a string of earth angels flooded the runway in frocks that were somehere between the prom dress of my dreams and the gowns that used to adorn my porcelain doll collection with. As our freelance contrib Ryan aptly pointed out, the rose-embroided satin garments looked to be straight up inspired by Alexandra Savior’s Belladonna of Sadness album cover. Reshare this post if you agree.
PS: ballet slippers and anklets are hereby my new favourite combo deal.
PPS: I’m currently sitting on the floor backstage at Hansen & Gretel with massive pins and needles, but an even greater excitement because the clothes look S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G! Watch this space…


We Saw Some Cute/Familiar Faces Out In The Wild

Morning, angels!

Double Rainbouu’s Presentation Was A Big Vibe (Huge!) 

#doublerainbouu at #mbfwa2018 #palmedor

A post shared by Matthew Drummond (@machdrum) on

There’s no greater way to round out day 2 of fash week than with a gin and tonic, a slice of pizza and the maximum amount of vibes that any one show can possibly offer. Lucky for us, that’s exactly what happened last night at Double Rainbouu’s show. With tripped out holographic prints (that made our eyeballs question whether or not they were real), synthwave-inspired prints and distorted fonts, New Order’s ‘Age On Consent’ blasting through the speakers, and a runway flooded with models setting a frenetic but fun pace, I was in a trance for many hours after the show finished.

Did I mention pizza and gin? 10/10, guys.

Bubble Wrap Is Cool Now, According To Karla Spetic

There’s literally nothing more satisfying in the world than popping an entire sheet of bubble wrap. Just ask my fingers. You can only imagine my elation at the unexpected (but genius) use of bubble wrap in Karla Spetic’s ocean-side show, then.

Outside of casting my mind back to great 90s film, Bubble Boy, with her bubble trench and dress (still swooning!!!), she breathed life into the dying check trend by throwing unexpected shapes into her designs, before making us daydream about long lunches soaking up the salty sea air with laid-back, beautifully-crafted dresses. Be back in 15, we’ve gone blissin’.

Anna Quan Just Took Care Of Our Entire Day-To-Night Wardrobe

By now, it’s pretty apparent that Australian designer Anna Quan knows her way around a strong, distinctive silhouette (thanks, from the bottom of our hearts/work wardrobes). Her collection at MBFWA 2018 was a 15-minute long testament to that, with relaxed khaki suits and ~anything but basic~ basics. It was as if Lauren Hutton’s wardrobe and Sara Donaldson’s wardrobe had a little wardrobe baby. Welcome to the fam!

Albus Lumen Was Dishing Out Some Major Prairie Vibes 
If Sofia Coppola’s Beguiled or classic Aussie flick Picnic at Hanging Rock were remade using Wes Anderson’s trademark pastel-saturated colour palette, then you would have something very close to Albus Lumen’s latest collection. The romance factor was high, the silhouettes were very ~ladylike~ and the entire show called into question our recent threats to only ever wear suits again. Also, we now can’t imagine our lives without a cute little bonnet hat in them. Because, well, cute!

Man, I Feel Like A (Strong) Woman After Bianca Spender 
Soft, flowing silhouettes and suit dressing was all the rage at Bianca Spender’s show this year. We’ll take one of everything, pls.

Lee Mathews Made Us Want To Picnic Every Damn Day Of Our Lives


Lee Mathews really turned it on for the crowd this year, with the collection equivalent of an ethereal picnic. Sound confusing? That’s because it probably is! Let me start again. LM’s show was a true standout on day 2 of MBFWA with pretty florals, adorable checks, sweet bucket hats and a very atmospheric setting. Here’s to picnicking every singe day for the rest of our lives.

Turns A 5-Year-Old Was The Best Dressed Attendee On Day 2


Everyone Else Can Go Home… JUST JOKES! There Was A LOT Of Stiff Competition

One word: LEWKS.


Camilla and Marc Packed Our Bags And Sent Us To Mars 

First thing’s first: did you catch the intergalactic, magical spectacle that was the Camilla and Marc show last night? Ex-squeeeeeze me while I scoop my jaw back up off the floor!!!

Okay, back. Maybe you couldn’t see the show all the way down here on Earth, since it took place in space and all. If that’s the case, Earthlings, then buckle in because we’re about to fill you in like Craig David. Aside from the setting (which was built with lots of love and 60 whole tonnes of sand) and the sheer quantity of the crowd (800 peeps, including lots of VIPeeps), the collection itself was truly outta this world (geddit, GEDDIT?).

Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman—the design heroes behind the label—are celebrating 15 years of Camilla & Marc this year. Congrats, guys! According to the dynamic duo, the collection was inspired “by strong, future-thinking women”, which can def be seen in their xpert melding of masculine tailoring and feminine silhouettes. Some takeaways for you: tonal dressing is H-O-T, as is oversized, puffed up sleeves and cute pastel suits.

Street Style Images by @kahlimccredie