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Designers that were meant to show at MBFWA share their closing looks

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTINE AI

In lieu of MBFWA, here is an exclusive look at four designers’ closing looks.

Right now, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) should be drawing to a close. In fact, today would be the final day. But unfortunately, like every other event scheduled for the last month or two, MBFWA was cancelled due to COVID-19.

For all the designers who had poured months of preparation and careful thought into their runway shows, the cancellation was particularly devastating.

On a personal level, we’re especially sad to have missed the closing looks – the dazzling show stoppers form each designer’s collection. So in lieu of actually being at MBFWA, here is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what would have been these four designers’ closing looks. Enjoy.


We Are Kindred and Bec + Bridge 


We Are Kindred

What was your closing look going to be? Describe it to us in detail.

Our supply base has been heavily affected by COVID-19 and therefore slowed everything right now. We normally decide on the closing look for the show about two or three days beforehand as so much goes into choosing that look – does it fit with the flow of the collection, is the model wearing it able to change in time, does it give the right mood to close on?

We did want the whole collection to have a nomadic gipsy feeling that was full of beautiful paisley prints, miniature florals, heavily embellished with earthy and metallic trims. It captured that vibe that Morocco does so effortlessly. For the closing look, I’m sure it would have been one of the dramatic gowns that we love to do.


How did it speak to the rest of the collection? Why was it a good closer?

We love to end the shows on a high note and something that really encapsulates the whole mood of the collection – it’s the last thing that people see so we want it to be something highly memorable.

What made it so showstopping?

Generally, the look we choose for the closer is the most show-stopping. We love something that really shows off the prints as it’s what we’re known for, so something with metres and metres of fabric in it.

Will the world ever get to see it in its final form? Or just pieces from the look?

We will be shooting the collection soon and we hope to show it in a way that emulates the runway but in quite a dynamic way.

Bec + Bridge

What was your closing look going to be? Describe it to us in detail.

The collection was inspired by French interiors, playing on the idea of mixing fabrication, textures, tones and materials in one space. This final look is reflective of this. A boxy ’70s cut blazer in terracotta slub silk/linen, styled with a lemon mesh bralet and paired with a full godet panelled printed watercolour floral skirt. The blazer is cinched at the waist with a contrast emerald French linen belt and accessories, with a handwoven pleated raffia hat.

The exploration of interior design theories has allowed us to explore being bold with mixing textures and silhouettes and thinking about proportion and scale and colour schemes, which are the foundation of the High/Summer collection.

How did it speak to the rest of the collection? Why was it a good closer?

It featured our hero floral print for the season and embodied the Bec + Bridge girl.

What made it so showstopping?

The fabric of the dress would have had beautiful fluidity on the runway and our hats we created for the season are showstoppers.

Will the world ever get to see it in its final form? Or just pieces from the look?

We are recreating elements from the look and will add them into our Autumn 2021 collection.


Bondi Born and Steven Khalil

Bondi Born

What was your closing look going to be? Describe it to us in detail.

This year our show was going to be a celebration of contemporary Australian style; the embodiment of Bondi Born. Set in a dramatic clifftop location amidst Australian architecture, our swimwear collection remained firmly rooted in its clean, pared-back cuts using technically advanced fabrics for a perfect fit, however our ready to wear has evolved and we have injected more versatility into the styles this year, adding pieces that our customers can wear with their swimwear and on holiday but also to work on a Friday or lunch at the weekend.

We had also decided to inject some see now/buy now pieces into the show to give our customers what they have been asking for. Our closing look, The Eternal Dress in black, encapsulated all of the above for us. A floor-length maxi-dress, split to mid-thigh with voluminous sleeves and an elegant off-the-shoulder neckline, with the gatherings finished with overly long, shoestring ties. And with the feel and lightness of silk, we love the fact it is made from a quality Japanese Cupro fabric that is 100 per cent natural, sustainably made from cotton waste.

How did it speak to the rest of the collection? Why was it a good closer?

Of all the pieces in our collection is was probably the most dramatic, the queen. Yet it spoke to other pieces past and present that share our detail of overly long shoestring ties, gathering and soft, flowing fabrics.

What made it so showstopping?

The Eternal Dress uses 4.5 metres of incredibly soft, light and flowing silk-like fabric. When women walk in this dress it makes them feel immediately luxurious, elegant and free and it’s a joy to watch a woman wearing it as she seemingly floats down the runway before you.

Will the world ever get to see it in its final form? Or just pieces from the look?

Yes! This was one of a few pieces we had planned to release in May so that our customers could buy from the runway. Due to COVID-19 it will be out a little later than originally planned. A small run will be available exclusively from Browns of London and from our website later this month and we have plans to recut it for Australian summer 2020.


Steven Khalil

What was your closing look going to be? Describe it to us in detail.

The finale look was going to have elements of the new Khalil Collection but also to capture the essence of the couture brand and keep the look modern and fresh.

How did it speak to the rest of the collection? Why was it a good closer?

We always close each of our collection shows with a bridal finale – it adds drama and provides a wow factor to our guests and clients.

What made it so showstopping?

The detailing, fabric and construction are always important to any of the looks I have in my collections. The finale look is all [of] these combined and amplified and I want a fairytale ending.

Will the world ever get to see it in its final form? Or just pieces from the look?

You will have to wait and see! I have the piece planned for a special event in the future so I don’t want to give too much away.

mbfashionweek.com/australia

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