When you think Australia, pristine beaches and a collection of lethal wildlife come to mind.
Admittedly, fashion has never been readily associated with our nation. Couture attire is waved off as a ‘European thing’ happening along the river seine or Thames, not by Cottesloe beach. Not that we can’t say we’ve made a contribution to the world of fashion (see: Uggs, gum nut earrings, Speedos, Dame Edna & anything Rebecca Judd wears to the Logies)
As it turns out, our laid-back and unboastful nature is exactly why we don’t hear much about Aussie labels. It’s there and it’s flourishing, but success is celebrated by designers in that typical Aussie way. Quietly with a glass of Friday afternoon prosecco amongst friends, and not with an exuberant studio 54 blowout.
From ethereal flowing dresses to perfectly tailored trousers, all Australian labels seem to have the same idea in mind: make it fun, but keep it wearable.
Here are 7 striking home-grown fashion labels making us whisper ‘strewth’ under our akubra hat.
Remember that girl in the year above you at high school who seemed so effortlessly cool, but would always stop and help when your books feel out of your locker? Morrison is what that girl wears now. Established right here in WA, Fremantle husband-and-wife team Richard Poulson and Kylie Radford brought the label to life in 2002. Unfussed designs with a focus on luxurious fabrics – we’re voting Morrison head girl in 2018.
Sass & Bide
Sass & Bide are the wild-child of the Australian fashion scene. If it’s adorned, metallic or overly eye-catching, chances are that little label reads S&B. The brainchild of best friends Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, the duo have been showcasing their signature unexpected-yet-acutely-tailored collections on both Australian and International runways since 1999.
If Australian fashion was a monarchy, Maticevski would be the King. Launching his self-titled label in 1999, Maticevski has become a regular and anticipated fixture on the Australian Fashion Week schedule. Focusing on silhouette, texture and finish – the label’s designs are easily equal to Europe’s elite fashion houses.
Established by Jessica Reid in 2010, Steele has become synonymous with brazen femininity. Beach-to-dance floor appropriate, this brand has a subtle nod to the 70s without diving headfirst into psychedelic paisley and overwhelming prints. Distinctly mixing grit and girly, the label has reached cult status with the help of loyal-fans, including fashion blogger Elyse Knowles and Hollywood cool-girl Emily Ratajkowski.
Shoes maketh the woman, and Tony Bianco is the maker of the shoes. Any fashion aficionado knows that choice in shoes can take an outfit from ‘ok’ to ‘otherworldly’ in one simple step. Blending classic styles with contemporary trends, a striking pair of Bianco’s are a must-have for any woman’s wardrobe.
La Maison Talulah
A gypsy met a princess and La Maison Talulah was born. Founded in Queensland, Australia’s state of sunshine, the label exudes a chilled out vibe with easy-to-wear pieces and pretty prints. Influencers Erin Holland(@erinvholland), Kiara King (@LionInTheWild) and Monika Radulovic (@monika_rad) have all donned the designs.
Misha Collection are the label responsible for orchestrating minor mayhem at 2016 Australian Fashion Week. As the lights dimmed for their debut show, seasoned journalists and the fashion-clan alike craned their heads to get a glimpse of current ‘IT’ girl Bella Hadid exclusively swanning down the runway. With cheekbones higher-than-the-sky and a strut that screams ‘watch out’, Bella completely mirrors Misha’s mantra: be confident and ambitious.
Johanna Borger x
All designers are available at Myer, Perth City.