Fashion Week Was Decidedly Different This Year

Amanda Bardas
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Pictured: Emilia Wickstead Resort '19

This was my eighth year attending fashion week in Sydney. I’m by no means a veteran—the event launched in 1996 and the front row still features many of the same faces—but this year was easily my favourite. My job at fashion week is to interpret the trends and determine what is relevant for our readers—what trends you’ll really get excited about. Whether it’s a new styling trick that’s emerged, or a micro trend spotted throughout the week (contrasting dress straps was one!), I examine every relevant runway and unpack what’s interesting.

That being said, it’s hard to not watch a fashion show and selfishly think about your own personal style. I spent a lot of time this week thinking about what I want to wear next. The designers that stood out to me—Albus Lumen, Lee Mathews, Macgraw, Pereira Fitzgerald, Hansen & Gretel, Christopher Esber—all felt uber feminine. My style has always felt tomboyish. I favour straight-leg jeans over skirts, and man-style shirts over pretty blouses. But after a week of soft pastels, liquid silks, mini florals, and elegant draping, I’m starting to rethink my style. 

While you can always expect Resort presentations to feel soft and feminine, this year felt like a real return to femininity, and I’m so on board. The show notes for Hansen & Gretel explained the whole mood of fashion week best, as “a ceremonious unveiling of identity and liberation”.  It’s natural for the evolution of style to mimic social discourse, and with the current conversation focused on women coming together to change what it means to be one, it makes sense for fashion to also concentrate on celebrating the power of women.

Beyond celebrating the power of women, fashion week felt really exciting—we’re entering a new era. While the schedule is always one of the biggest talking points of the week, 2018’s line-up of talent included a nice mix of emerging and established designers. What energises me most, is that this year the conversation didn’t center around who wasn’t showing, but instead celebrated the exciting roster of emerging Australian talent.

And it is for those reasons that fashion week felt decidedly different. There’s change coming. We saw more brands celebrating diversity on the runway (but now need to see it in campaigns), models spanning multiple generations, and we embraced and celebrated our new designers. In my view, that's what makes for an inspiring fashion week. 

Read on for my show highlights and stay tuned for my style evolution…

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