Our Favourite Looks From Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2018

Fashion editor Dan Ahwa rounds up his highlights from the collections in Sydney

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BIANCA SPENDER

Bianca Spender makes a convincing case for crisp summer workwear. The designer also highlighted chic day dresses and a showstopping floor-length gown in vivid orange.

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Bianca Spender.

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Bianca Spender.

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ANNA QUAN

This bold striped shirt made from Italian cotton made an impact down the runway, the designer known for creating well-constructed shirting.

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Anna Quan.

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Anna Quan.

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DOUBLE RAINBOUU

Mikey Nolan and Toby Jones, the duo behind this mens and womenswear brand have taken their small collection of shirts and expanded it into everyday separates, knitwear and swimwear, all with a distinctively Sydney/Bondi beach vibe.

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Double Rainbouu.

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Double Rainbouu.

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ROOPA

Designer Roopa Pemmaraju made a colourful a statement with a beautifully executed show, highlighting her love of her Indian heritage. Ethically made, the Roopa brand was a breath of fresh air on the schedule with its languid printed dresses and detailing.

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Roopa.

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Roopa.

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BLAIR ARCHIBALD

New Zealand designer Blair Archibald, menswear regional winner of the 2017 Woolmark Prize, showcased a strong collection of menswear and unisex pieces on female models. Some highlights included crisp trousers, relaxed suiting and fitted knitwear styled with leather bags by fellow Kiwi designer Matt Nash.

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Blair Archibald.

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Blair Archibald.

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Blair Archibald.

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EMILIA WICKSTEAD

Another New Zealand designer making a big impact on the schedule in Sydney was Emilia Wickstead's nostalgic take on vacation wear for her exclusive collection in collaboration with Matches Fashion. Taking place at the iconic Wylie's Baths in Coogee Beach, the designer took guests to another place with her whimsical presentation.

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Emilia Wickstead.

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Emilia Wickstead.

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ROMANCE WAS BORN

A highlight on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia schedule is Romance Was Born, synonymous with a playful and theatrical approach to its design and showmanship. Designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett (who recently released a book celebrating 15 years as one of Australia's much loved brands with fashion journalist Georgina Safe) held their show at Hubert restaurant in typically whimsical fashion, with pretty tiered dresses and kaleidoscopic prints.

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Romance Was Born.

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Romance Was Born.

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Romance Was Born.

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CAMILLA AND MARC

Australian stalwart Camilla and Marc has cornered the market for a distinctively 'Sydney' look — razor sharp tailoring, fit and flare cocktail dresses (loved by the Sydney celebrity set) with a hit of sportswear. Featuring an exclusive runway appearance from NZ model Georgia Fowler, outfits styled by super-stylist Christine Centenera, an otherworldly desert show-space, the brother and sister duo Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman put out all the stops as the Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer, officially opening the MBFWA schedule for the week.

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Camilla and Marc.

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Camilla and Marc.

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Camilla and Marc.

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ALICE MCCALL

“I design dresses for girls to have a great time in. To celebrate. To have fun.” Good time dresses made heads turn at Alice McCall's show, a riotous display of vibrant colour, print and frills.

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Alice McCall.

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Alice McCall.

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DEADLY PONIES

New Zealand label Deadly Ponies showcased its latest collection of luxury leather accessories with its silk scarf range. Collaborating with Sydney-based creative Peter Simon Phillips and the team at Alfred, the Deadly Ponies team of Liam Bowden, Steven Boyd and Grace Nairn, featured an olive tree, hung upside-down in the centre of the Elston room at Carriageworks.

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Deadly Ponies.

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Deadly Ponies.

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KARLA SPETIC

Celebrating a decade in fashion with an intimate show at The Blue Room in Bondi, Karla Spetic's collection was light and airy, focusing on white and pastel tones, gingham print dresses and sheer trench coats. The powerful 2016 documentary, A Plastic Ocean led to the inspiration for her milestone collection. “In this collection I have included some pieces made from plastic bubble wrap. They won’t go into production, but I wanted to use them as a talking point for all the plastics that are destroying our oceans and precious marine life".

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Karla Spetic.

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Karla Spetic.

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Karla Spetic.

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LEE MATTHEWS

Inspired by the iconic American architects Frank Lloyd-Wright and Eames, as well as minimalist artist Donald Judd, Lee Matthews presented a harmonious collection featuring swimwear, collage print dresses and sleek white suiting. Creative director Lee and newly appointed head designer Natalia Grzybowski won extra points for their use of hybrid of natural textiles and zero-waste fabrics — from organic cottons to a coated zero-waste Italian linen and ethically sourced silks.

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Lee Matthews.

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Lee Matthews.

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Lee Matthews.

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AKIRA

Iconic Australian designer Akira Isogawa showcased a typically romantic collection that touched on his signature handwriting of layered dresses, Japanese influences and a mix of androgynous shapes for both men and women. Marking his 25th anniversary show, the designer riffed on subtle 80s references and colours, showing on the last night of the schedule and showing everyone why he's still considered one of Australia's best fashion designers.

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Akira.

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Akira.

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