RAFW ’09 Spring/Summer Trend Report

Jason Tapuai-Kuka joins the Designer Direction team specialising in trend & style forecasting advice from around the globe.  This week he shares his take on the 2009 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and what our friends over the ditch had on offer.

The recession has touched down on both lands and like New Zealand, Australia has had to surrender a few of their treasured designers as they choose to show their latest collections elsewhere.  This year Alex Perry and Akira Isogawa were a no-show, but despite the furor of the resulted defection our Aussie cousins proved to be resourceful in such dark times and the RAFW ’09 went ahead somewhat unruffled by the nasty economic crisis.

RAFW ’09 Spring/Summer was all about comfort and ease without faltering sex appeal or bold choices in shapes and color.  This year we were also treated to a delightful wave of fluid shapes and prettiness that came through as key elements in style direction.

Kate Sylvester and Wayne Cooper blew us a cool flash of blues that came in cobalt or electric and stunning vibrant orange that also appeared in hushed hues. Other colors of note were touches of dusty peach, pinks and lilacs/purples.  Neutrals of course remain indispensable and glimpses of metallics also shined through either as an accent or as a featured piece, such as at Camilla & Marc with their chic liquid silver camisoles.

Apart from the fluidity and a relaxed feel, the influence of Ghesquière’s bubble-tulip shape is still evident in this season’s collections.  Thankfully, the look was toned down as it slowly phases it’s way out of design studios but proved to look right on trousers.

High-waist jodhpur shapes are the way to go… who didn’t see that coming? – but they look amazing in soft fabrics and on thin, tall women.  Relaxed and effortless ¾ trousers and shorts made an appearance, given the nod by Therese Rawsthorne with her hip baggy shorts and Nicola Finetti who showcased her brilliantly cut ¾ pants.  Skin-tight pants and leggings were the other option.  Watch out for those jumpsuits too, Zimmerman made good with her swanky renditions and so did the crew over at Arnsdorf.

Dresses and skirts came in mostly above-the-knee lengths, but were either close to the body with the aforementioned Balenciaga shapes, or billowed out into filmy diaphanous veils.  Sheerness added a delicate touch at Bec & Bridge with her willowy numbers, while at Kirrily Johnston transparent touches were added to show hints of flesh with horizontal satin and sheer stripes.  Kimono-shaped silk dresses at Ginger & Smart were dreamy.  Designer Ben Pollit at Fredrich Gray gave away transparent statements with his (dare I say this word) – ‘adorable’ – sheer singlet’s.

Shirt dresses are a sure indication of what to expect in the future.  The shirt dresses at Dion Lee were simply fantastic, and with his tailored look with cut-out features – amazing! Leather introduced itself too and oddly enough looked like it belonged.  You will see some rather voyeuristic but tasteful examples at Fredrich Gray, Ginger & Smart and Arnsdorf to name but a few.

Does anyone care about prints? I do, so prints get to be mentioned. Why? Because, they are important too. The frantic, fun floral prints at Zimmerman were brilliant and at Wayne Cooper as well. Loved it!

Altogether, RAFW 09’ Spring-Summer was amazing, invigorating and exciting. Cannot wait for Autumn-Winter collections, I bet it’s going to be quite spectacular.


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