Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia is one of the biggest events in the fashion calendar in this country and with a hectic week ahead of me I’ve got to make sure that my wardrobe is organised and ready for the next few days ahead—this is one of those times when I can’t afford a morning outfit crisis!
I’m quite decisive when it comes to my outfits and know that I want to wear something the moment I see it. That said, when I’m prepping my looks I make sure to consider all aspects of my outfit from head to toe; it all has to gel. As Fashion Week is mostly a daytime event I don’t like to look too dressy but I do make sure that whatever I’m wearing is stylish and polished yet not too overdone. It’s also a great time to be able to roadtest new trends that I’m loving and most importantly to have fun with my wardrobe (it is Fashion Week after all).
I almost always incorporate colour into my looks and also have a jacket or coat with me at all times as the weather can sometimes get cool. As I like to have everything look cohesive, I always make sure that my jacket or coat is considered and not just a last minute afterthought to throw on over what I’m wearing as this can end up looking a bit haphazard. One thing I don’t mind leaving to the last minute is my accessories. As I have my entire outfit planned ahead of time it’s not too stressful selecting what I’ll be accessorising my outfit with on the day as I like to choose it depending on the vibe I’m feeling that day.
It’s always a great time to support some of my favourite Australian designers so this year I’ll be wearing Bec & Bridge, Christopher Esber, Tome and Dion Lee. They’re always guaranteed to have pieces that I love and are very “me” in their aesthetic. As I mentioned I like to experiment and play with new trends, but one in particular that I’m loving at the moment is velvet so you’ll definitely see me incorporating it into my looks for the week (watch this space to see how I end up styling it into my outfits).
There are so many designers that I love who are showing this year but I’m especially excited about attending Dion Lee, Bec & Bridge, Romance Was Born and Ten Pieces. I’m sure that they won’t disappoint. It’s always an insanely busy week for me but I really enjoy Fashion Week as it’s a great time to get some fashion inspiration and also to see what I’ll be wearing in a few months time. I can’t wait for it all to kick off this Sunday!
P.S Don’t forget to check in on the blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter throughout the week for all my Fashion Week coverage.
Enjoying lunch at 169 Darlinghurst with the creative duo behind Bec & Bridge
Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston are the duo behind the popular Australian fashion label Bec & Bridge, which is marking its 15th year and has celebrity fans including Kim Kardashian and Miranda Kerr. Cooper and Yorston chatted to me about the secret to their success, juggling motherhood and a fashion label, and what to expect from them during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) in May.
Congratulations on 15 years in the fashion industry. What is the secret to your success?
Bec: Thank you! We’ve learnt so much over the last 15 years … too much to recount. We have also made so many mistakes. Through it all we have remained open-minded and allowed room for things to happen organically and to evolve.
Bridge: Being best friends and business partners, we have always made sure that we keep an open line of communication at all times.
Bec & Bridge is a highlight at MBFWA. Can you reveal any plans?
Bridge: We have a great team on board and will be presenting our Resort 17 collection … The inspiration behind [it] stems from the work of Henri Matisse and his innovative and intensive use of light and colour. The clashing of bright azure blues, fiery reds and a sense of freedom … The collection channels a ’90s minimalist look, with mini hemlines, bias slips and spaghetti straps.
Bec, you gave birth to your second son, Teddy, earlier this year. Have you taken some time off?
Bec: Yes, I took a break from being in the office, naturally, but with MBFWA and the launch of retail coming up, I have started popping in a few days a week. Luckily I have an amazing husband and family who come with me to support and assist with Teddy.
How has it been juggling a newborn with the lead-up to MBFWA?
Bec: It really is a juggle. The key for us has been having a strong partnership – this has allowed us to each take the reins at different times when we have both had our babies. But mostly, it’s about our wonderful team and supportive families. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do. Having children has forced us to be more organised and more decisive. There is no time for dilly-dallying.
How did it all start for Bec and Bridge?
Bridge: We met at uni – we were studying fashion design at UTS. We became best friends and we started just making stuff for friends. And we were always known as Bec and Bridge because we were always together, and actually started with men’s jeans … it was revamping old jeans for them, printing our name all over them and then some stores started calling us and saying, “Can we order these jeans?
Did you ever imagine that it would be as big as it is today?
Bridge: No, not in my wildest dreams.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an Australian fashion label?
Bridge: Over the last 15 years we’ve seen the industry change so much and so many brands come and go … It really is just a reminder that you have to constantly evolve and stay on top.
Bec: It’s definitely important to never get too comfortable. We are both big believers in staying open minded and being flexible to move with our B&B girl as she grows and evolves.
Bridge: We produce 95 per cent of our pieces in Australia. This allows us to keep a really tight rein on our production quality as well as build strong relationships with our manufacturers.
What’s been your biggest pinch-me moment in your career?
Bridge: I think seeing some of the celebrities that have worn Bec and Bridge has been amazing. It’s quite funny because the general public think that if Rihanna is wearing something of ours, that we’ve actually met her and given it to her and that’s why she’s wearing it.
How does that come about when celebrities wear your clothes? Bridge: We work with a great publicist in LA. She’s amazing and she totally gets our girl. She’s got a lot of great relationships, so she gets the clients.
When a celebrity wears your clothes, is there a direct translation to sales?
Bridge: If they wear it well. Like the “Kendall” dress, we call it the Kendall dress now, because when she wore it, we had to re-cut that dress like three times. I think we just had no idea of the effect.
How do you react when other designers copy your designs?
Bec: [It happens] all the time. Sometimes you just have to let it go and take it as a form of flattery … it’s not worth losing sleep over. Bridge: We have got a standard letter that we send, but I don’t know whether that makes much [difference] … Sometimes it’s annoying. Hailey Baldwin wore this little dress [of ours] that hadn’t even delivered into stores yet, and then it was seen in a shopping mall in Queensland and they’d used the photo of Hailey in our dress from Instagram and said, “Available in store”, and it was a quarter of the price or less.
Bec: We get outraged for two minutes then we move on.
WE ATE GRILLED ROMAN BEANS with yellow zucchini, pumpkin, fermented chilli and chicken breast; CHICKEN, BROCCOLI AND BARLEY SALAD with broccoli, Spanish onion, goats feta, barley; KALE SALAD with fresh kale, shiso leaves, pear, celery, avocado, sunflower seeds, pepita, crispy kipflers & tahini dressing add chicken breast / smoked salmon
I’ll be honest, dressing up for Fashion Week while pregnant was a bit of a struggle. As most of you ladies with a burgeoning bump can attest trying to maintain you regular style as your wardrobe slowly diminishes is an exercise in creative thinking. Throw in a week-long event with some of the best-dressed women in the country and it certainly makes the process even trickier. Having gone through this process twice now here are some things I have learned about dressing throughout pregnancy and still feeling and looking like yourself:
Try to remain faithful to your style
Your body changes so dramatically during pregnancy that it can be hard to maintain your regular style let alone remember what it was to begin with. However I’ve tried really hard to do this as that’s when I feel most comfortable. A shift dress or a billowy blouse are things that I’d normally wear so I’ve tried to incorporate more of them in my everyday wardrobe as they’re generally bump-friendly. If you’re usually all about colour or wear top to toe prints then maintain that as your fashion ethos and try to find pieces that will still allow you to dress as your usual self.
Anything stretchy is your friend
I wore the above elasticised leather pants even before I was pregnant and because they’re stretchy they’ve been able to accommodate my belly yet still provide an anchor to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. I’ve also adopted the same principle to my jeans by adding an expander which I wear as much as possible until it doesn’t work anymore!
You don’t have to forgo your fave designers, just go up a size! If you’ve go something special on and you’d like to buy a nice dress or great skirt then simply hit up your regular go-to brands and buy a bigger size. If you find that you want to wear it after giving birth look into having it professionally altered.
Adopt an interesting jacket
Things like jackets and coats are ideal for use in pregnancy as they’re generally quite loose and will accommodate a growing frame. It’s a nice silhouette with a bump and will smarten up any look.
Use the same accessories
I’ve also been wearing the same shoes I usually wear and adding my favourite accessories to add some interest to the outfit. Accessorising is one of the best ways to mix up a look— even if you’ve been wearing it for weeks on end.
And generally…Don’t buy a lot
I tell all my friends to save their money and not buy too many pregnancy specific clothing as they will realistically only wear it for a short amount of time. I found stores like ASOS and Jeanswest had a great range for pregnancy essentials. Limit yourself to a few key pieces and just rotate them. I found things like a stretchy knee length cotton skirt, loose tops and knits and leggings were all fantastic in the latter stages of pregnancy.
And most importantly…Be comfortable
Rest assured my regular life does not involve me running around in stilettos and designer dresses! There are moments where I just want to be comfy and those are the days that I’ll definitely be in my Nike trainers and gym pants. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you feel comfortable in and that should be your paramount concern.
The sheer volume of stylish people descending on Fashion Week means the odds were pretty high for some serious trendspotting. Whilst there are always a lot of unique looks that will turn heads and incite major wardrobe envy there were also a few standout trends that a lot of the fashion crowd had in common. When it comes to what’s to come, these are the must-haves to start scouting around for.
The trend: Chokers
The staple accessory of the ‘90s is making a comeback. This time around chokers have been incarnated into elegant metallic statement pieces such as the below from Eddie Borgo and Kate Spade that are infinitely more refined than their ‘90s counterparts. If metallics aren’t your thing you could also go with a simple plain black option with extra adornments.
The trend: Architectural white shirts
A white shirt is always a staple. That’s a given. However there were a lot of statement white shirts to be seen during Fashion Week. Whether it be one with cut-out shoulders, billowy bell sleeves, exaggerated lapels or asymmetrical cuts, it was like the white shirt suddenly got some attitude. Ellery, Givenchy and Maurie and Eve have some great options to satisfy every white shirt whim.
The trend: Bomber Jackets
Once the domain of varsity football players in American TV shows this is one trend that will be huge this season. And there’s a bomber to suit every taste and budget. Whether you opt for a plain bomber in a classic colour such as black or navy such as this one from Tod’s and ASOS, take a walk on the wild side with a interesting print or try a jacket with unique embellishment you can’t go wrong with this trend.
The trend: Fringing
The ‘70s trend is huge this season and was reflected in the amount of fringing that made a cameo at Fashion Week. There were fringed bags, fringed skirts, fringed jackets… It was all about the swish factor. Dipping a toe into this trend is easy with a fringed bag (Elizabeth and James, ASOS and Rebecca Minkoff have some great options), then you can work your way up to more statement pieces such as skirts and jackets.
The trend: Block heel court shoes
Sensible shoes are making a comeback (hello, sneakers) and it was only a matter of time before heels joined the party. Stilettos without a doubt look polished but the comfort factor leaves a lot to be desired. Enter block heel court shoes. Inspired by Gucci’s Marmont shoe (as seen on Brooke Testoni), the block heel will be one of your go-to shoes this year and the best bit is, you’ll be comfortable while strutting around in them. You’ll also be glad to know that Lanvin and Chloe have joined the block party with this and this.
One of my favourite things about attending Fashion Week each year is the people watching. Having such a concentrated dose of fashion lovers in one area whether it be magazine editors dressed in the latest designs to fashion bloggers and retail buyers means being spoilt for style inspiration every single day. What I love is seeing the creativity that people have when pulling together their outfits— whether it be really dressed up or really casual everyone always puts their own unique spin on their look. There’s a uniquely Australian way of dressing which was quite evident from what I saw last week and it’s a lovely marriage of being polished yet with a relaxed vibe and I think it just works in a laidback country such as ours.
I can’t believe Fashion Week is over for another year. It was a hectic week and I had a lot of fun checking out the shows, catching up with some of my favourite people in the industry not to mention the fashion inspiration was next-level (my shopping list has almost doubled in size). Here’s a look at the week that was…
The schedule for Fashion Week includes long days that involve seeing multiple shows from almost every major Australian designer. Throughout the course of the week I estimate that I would have seen hundreds of different looks and with so much to see during the week picking my standouts at the end is always really tough. However these shows in particular had me wanting to buy up a storm.
This was the first show of Fashion Week and took place at the Cutaway in Sydney’s Barangaroo. I loved the whole grandeur of the show and the location was spectacular. It was a real highlight and was a great way to kick off the whole week. The whole collection was beautiful but I particularly loved the knotted tops in the collection. Just stunning.
Image: Rebecca Vallance/Flaunter
Image: Rebecca Vallance/Flaunter
I loved Rebecca Vallance’s show. It’s the first time that she has shown in Australia and I hope she comes back for seasons to come. Her collection had some really beautiful pieces that aren’t necessarily trend-driven but are classic, wardrobe staples such as beautifully tailored dresses and jackets that will last more than one season.
Image: Christopher Esber/Flaunter
Image: Christopher Esber/Flaunter
The location of this presentation was unexpected with it taking place in a yoga studio in Sydney’s Potts Point however everything was quintessential Christopher Esber. The dresses were all really beautiful but what I love about his work is the attention to detail such as one particular top with netting and ties at the back and a dress with knots all over it that I’m still dreaming about.
Image: Dion Lee/Flaunter
Image: Dion Lee/Flaunter
Dion Lee took his show to new heights by holding it in the Bloomberg high rise building in the Sydney CBD. It’s always hard to pick a favourite with Dion Lee because the craftsmanship on his garments is absolutely gorgeous. The detail on every piece is just so beautiful. He’s someone that I always look to for standout pieces and there were a few dresses there that were real showstoppers and I’m definitely bookmarking them for future events.
Bec & Bridge
One of my go-to labels for a party look is Bec & Bridge. Going to events all the time means I’m constantly on the look out for great dresses to wear and this particular collection had lots of great summer dresses in gorgeous colours that I could see myself in come summer time.
You know a collection is special when you see look after look come down the runway and want every single thing. This collection was so wearable and I could envisage several pieces in my wardrobe. Tome are one of my favourite brands and seeing their show definitely left me with some major outfit inspiration.
After a few days of quite feminine, floaty dresses I wanted to change gears a little and go for something a little more structured. A monochrome look is always a fave of mine because it’s understated and chic so I opted for a pair of black leather pants and a long white top (perfect for accommodating the bump!) and added a slightly futuristic touch with a silver clutch. My Balmain blazer has been a staple throughout this week and has proven itself to be one of those purchases that will last season after season for years to come.
I wanted to wear a striking colour today and this one-shoulder dress by TOME really fit the bill. I love the bold mustard hue which worked well offset by gold accessories including my new favourite — my Eddie Borgo choker. The slightly billowy cut of the dress has a relaxed sophistication about it and the hint of skin gave it a slightly Grecian feel.
Tome is without a doubt one Australian label that is killing it here and overseas. I caught up with Ramon Martin, one half of the designer duo behind the brand to chat about where he gets his inspiration, surviving the craziness that is Fashion Week and most importantly how he takes his tea…