10/03/2016
Dear Dion.

Words by

Amy Campbell

Dear Dion, 

I feel like we’ve known each other for quite some time. Perhaps we were friends in another life, because every look you sent down the VAMFF Grand Showcase runway last night set my heart alight. 

How did you manage to encapsulate my dreams in ten fleeting minutes? 

Maybe it was the oppressive temperature of the Royal Exhibition Building. Then again, the females in the front row opposite confirmed I wasn’t the only one experiencing hot flushes. Your cool, slippery silks and intricately-woven hemlines had my jaw spend some quality time on the floor. 

Before your girls even entered, there was a palpable feeling of electricity in the air. Your ethereal soundtrack pulsated its way around the pylons of the grand hall, lights darting sporadically across that illuminated mountain at the end of the runway that would soon guide your girls across the floor.  

And then they came. They entered in white and left in off-the-shoulder shiraz. Pure as angels yet mysteriously untouchable, your models didn’t walk. They floated. 

The women in white reflected an innocence within. The models opened the showcase with an air of tranquillity. Their sleeves were long and their skirts were short. Directional panels guided eye accross body, and conservative cut-outs (I didn’t even know there was such a thing?) said, “look, but don’t touch.” 

Then came the hunnies in honey. Their nude hue’s injecting the collection with a subtle feeling of warmth. Suede dresses wore like a second skin. Your models looked fearless and raw, in both your signature skin-tight silhouettes and shapes of a more liberated form. 

And just when I thought it was all soft and sensual, in marched the matriarchs in head-to-toe black. Channeling everyone’s inner rebel, they were dark, demure and had a 90s allure. Luxe leather jackets were contrasted against panels of sheer. Suddenly, necklines went from high to low, with plunges allowing the bad-girl-in-black stereotype to flow. 

Enter: Margaret Zhang. Well not in the flesh, but the outfit for which we remember her Derby Day cameo best. With elongated sleeves and a skirt reminiscent of a tessellated mermaids tail, this look was challenging but satisfying. Proportionally, everything was so wrong. But aesthetically, so right. 

Your ladies in navy gave way to an unexpected burst of red. An inner romantic, she was all passion and lust. With structured scarlet suedes juxtaposed against silks in tangerine, she told a story of a lover both sensual and strong. 

Your slits said sexy but your tailoring said suave. You explored the mini, midi, maxi and pants. You travelled from sheer and shoulderless to a deconstructed blazer, from a sophisticated fishnet to the revolutionary ‘basket weave.’ There were textures in every tone and tacicity. And somehow, you managed to unite it all with such effortless ease. 

You dressed Yaya in a hoodie and swaddled Sam Harris in feathers of red. You presented a rainbow of romance, from the pure and demure to the fiery and arcane. 

Dion, if I could, I would wear you every day. You embody the very essence of grand, but there’s something about the everyday woman your clothes seem to understand. 

You elicit a conversation between the soft and strong, and that’s why your SS ’16 runway, presented at last night's Grand Showcase, spoke to me (and every other fashion-loving lady). 

Your Sincerely, 

Amy. 

vamff.com.au

Photography: 
Sara D'Ambrosio

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