You could have been forgiven for thinking you had accidentally wandered on to the set of a Tim Burton film at last night’s David Jones winter fashion launch in Sydney.
The department store’s historic On Seven space was transformed into a dark fantasy forest , with more than 50 camellia trees brought on to the site and displayed alongside grand floral arrangements, twisted vines and speckled autumn leaves.
It was a breathtaking setting that added mood and atmosphere to the runway parade, which featured more than 35 Australian designers showcasing their latest looks to 300 guests.
As was the case last season when she first took over the role of fashion “ambassador” from Miranda Kerr, Jessica Gomes led the model pack out on to the runway with sass, confidence and bucket loads of sex appeal.
Gomes sported a dramatic black and red outfit by Ginger & Smart to open the show and closed it in a sexy, long black evening gown by Camilla & Marc, who were given a 20-outfit finale.
Collette Dinnigan’s pretty, feminine dresses made their final appearance on a David Jones runway as the designer prepares to wind back her business.
Going strong, however, is a new generation of young Australian designers such as Dion Lee, Josh Goot, Christopher Esber and Michael Lo Sordo, all of whom showed sporty, body-conscious dresses and separates in luxuriously crafted fabrics.
There was lots of black leather and plenty of all-white ensembles, but the monochrome trend was punctuated with bolts of bright colour and rich floral prints from Akira, Alice McCall and Romance Was Born.
The menswear offering was diverse, with casual loungewear from Bassike and Jac + Jack shown alongside more formal suiting options by Jack London and Zanerobe.
Guests included Great Gatsby star Elizabeth Debicki, Rachel Griffiths, Jessica Marais, Megan Gale, and singing sensations Sarah Blasko and Megan Washington.