There was much excitement last night as I headed down to cover the NEXT Hotel Next Gen Group Show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in Brisbane. The John Reid Pavillion at RNA Showgrounds glowed in an ultraviolet super barn for obsessives of the cloth. Blinged-up bespoke Mercs lined the driveway into a grand entrance hall, which further set the scene beautifully with its crowd-pleasing mottled-lighting and well-stocked bar.
MBFF Brisbane (Celebrating 10 years) has delivered yet another jam-packed week in Brisbane’s style calendar and The Garb Wire was thrilled to be there. Dedicated to the next crop of emerging Australian designers, the NEXT Hotel Next Gen Group showcase was abuzz with stunning and eclectic creations from swimwear to high-end outerwear, and more avant-garde pieces (our favourite!). The next wave of designers Roux May, Hana, IzzQ Designs, Siss On Bare, Suzii K, Wilde Willow, Kabel Apparel, Megan Cannings Designs and Eau Paix Vie Swimwear did not disappoint.
SISS on Bare (S.O.B.)
Hailing from the East Coast, Perth-established SISS On Bare specialises in style-infused pieces with a focus on the female form. Label founder Intan Zuhuri’s passion for creating playful, voluminous, three-dimensional shapes was certainly evident in this collection. Stretch skirts and dresses with black and yellow panelling, diagonal geometric prints and monochrome. The models wore their hair straight, brushed and simple, with ankle-socks, block-heeled sandals and platforms, a look inspired by elements of the nineties in the best possible way.
With expected ethereal shimmer, there were tones of ivory, taupe and blues in the soft and flowing velvety textures, ornate sleeves and flared shapes.
Designer Stella Morton has put her ‘heart and soul’ into this collection, and it translates in the carefree, gypsy feel of each piece – no doubt reminiscent of her spirited, carefree youth spent in Byron Bay. Morton’s signature aesthetic was on display with gently feminine yet structured silhouettes, crafted from luxurious fabrics and natural fibres, sometimes with a touch of sequins and vegan leather.
Megan Cannings Designs
Queensland’s own Megan Cannings showed a pleasing collection of easy and softly-draped feminine pieces in ivory, lemon and tangerine. A 100% self-taught fashion designer, Cannings showed pieces that had a retro-glam feel to the subtle frills, flounces and ultra-feminine shapes.
Emerging Brisbane designer Suzi Knezovic merges art with fashion for a vision that is as fresh as it is unique. Her designer daywear and pret-a-porter pieces really stunned for Suzii K last night. Elegant minimalism with some layering lent some beautiful fluidity to this collection. Suzii K knows sheer in the right places and is dreamily Valentino-inspired.
Hailing from the Queensland’s Gold Coast, designer and founder Isabelle Quinn is dedicated to making one-of-a-kind, boldly luxurious, ready-to-wear pieces. IzzQ is a brand that represents simple-yet-edgy elegance. She describes the label as ‘risqué, feminine and innovative’ and this showed through in her runway show.
Using monochrome, nudes and sensual azure, the outfits themselves were form-fitting with deep v-necks, diva-esque collars, high split skirts and worn by beautifully vampish models. With pieces bearing names such as ‘Gigi’, ‘Enzo’ and ‘Isidora’, IzzQ’s pieces evoke thoughts of European playboys (and girls) strutting, pouting and being unapologetically luxuriant.
Canberra-based Neda Alemohammad’s own Persian heritage is a heavy influence on her delicate and opulently diverse Eastern-inspired pieces. Hana integrates the familiarity of Western designs with more exotic motifs – a strong feature in this show. A sense of multiculturalism was communicated with rich, luxurious colours and natural, sometimes hand-painted fabrics. Elements of nature, cultural heritage and the beauty of diversity combined for a strong, adventurous yet feminine collection of patterned shift-dresses. Indigo and aqua, along with rich reds and golds made her creations a particularly exotic stand-out.
A Garb Wire highlight, Roux May’s unique style vision, revolutionary fervour and sense of mischievous fun was an absolute standout. Storming down the runway with billowing white flags, each model owned her power pattern clash in comfortable yet edgy takes on button-down classics, exclusive geometric prints, star patterns and carnival colours.
Roux May creator Rumay Oosthuizen herself describes the brand as ‘visually opinionated and emotive’. A self-described ‘optimist’ in times of unrest in the wider world, Oosthuizen’s boldness along with the brand’s Be.Brave.Love. mantra put her at the front of the pack.
As far as we can see, Roux May’s sense of cool is paramount to the jewelled pineapple in The Sunshine State’s fashion crown.