The West

Melbourne Fashion Fest warms up
A model wears Flannel at L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Until tonight's runway show at Melbourne Fashion Festival, presented by Madison magazine, you might be forgiven for thinking that winter doesn't really exist in Australia.

There have been a lot of flimsy dresses, sheer blouses and very short skirts on display so far this week, but the line-up at tonight's show offered more sophisticated options for dressing in the cooler months.

The line-up included some of Australia's most polished designers, from Yeojin Bae and Lisa Ho to Carl Kapp, Arthur Galan and Bianca Spender.

For the most part, city slicker dressing dominated - beautifully cut coats, capes and tailored jackets over draped silk dresses, clean-cut leather, wintery suede and the ever-present jumpsuit made frequent appearances.

Indeed, jumpsuits, or all-in-ones, have been a steady presence on the runway this week.

Virtually every designer seems to have sent out a version, from plain to printed, and from sexy silk to pretty cottons.

Carl Kapp showcased impeccably cut tailored trench coats, cinched-waist jackets and pencil skirts alongside beautiful jewel-coloured draped evening dresses in rich green, purple and russet.

Camilla and Marc went the military route with skin-tight jeans and cropped khaki wool jackets, while WA label Flannel kept it fresh and floaty with tiered semi-sheer dresses, silk blouses with pussybow collars, suede shorts and loose-fitting shirts.

The other strong trend was the cape, which came hooded at Arthur Galan, in cream wool at Bianca Spender, and in vibrant red at Lisa Ho.

And if there's one colour that has truly continued on from 2010, it's camel.

Bianca Spender and Arthur Galan sent out camel coats, Lisa Ho showed cropped camel pants, and Flannel's suede came in tan and camel hues.

In an innovative twist, later tonight 90s supermodel Helena Christensen is set to take to the runway in a hotly anticipated menswear show.

The West Australian

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