I've just come back from the WA Designer Collections at Perth Fashion Festival, where thirteen different designers showed their latest collections in an interesting melange of styles and aesthetics.
Each of these designers could be classified as new or "emerging", ie they are at relatively early stages of their design careers.
If you wanted to pinpoint the way in which these designers share affinities, there were two main things to note: an eye towards the glamour of the red carpet/evening frock, and, conversely, a love for the super-short mini-skirt that barely scrapes the top of the thigh - best left to spindly-legged twentysomethings who can carry this sort of micro-length off.
Beyond that, however, there was a bit of everything: white lace babydoll dresses at AUGUSTUS, polka dot party frocks at Little Gracie, a quite beautiful sequinned evening gown with a plunging V-back at Jomay Cao, pleated black sundresses and jackets sporting balsa wood embellishments at Daniella Caputi, pretty paisley minidresses and relaxed colour-blocked separates at Anna Excell, and shiny plastic outfits at Dypsnea.
Some of the outfits on show were very simple, and didn't quite stand up to the rigour of a runway setting, but there is always a little bit of wheat and a little bit of chaff in these types of shows.
The more complex and dramatic outfits are always going to get the cameras snapping faster than a simple cotton dress or a plain blouse and shorts. The irony is that you expect young and emerging designers to be incredibly experimental, so it's almost a shock when they send clothes down the runway that are so casual and minimal in aesthetic.
For me, opening label Monster Alphabets stood out from the pack with a seemingly Yohji Yamamoto-inspired collection of draped, full-length black dresses and one very beautiful blood red silk gown with a long, floating train, which model Tiggy Ridgeway expertly manipulated as she moved down the runway to give an extra dramatic effect for the photographers.PERTH FASHION FESTIVAL FULL COVERAGE