A detailed recap of David Jones’ AW18 Collections Launch

Words by Tara Smith

Take the leap.

There’s nothing like a David Jones runway to kick off the Autumn Winter season.

If you’ve been lucky enough to see one, or just live vicariously through our detailed recaps, you’ll know they put on a bloody good show.

Let me set the scene.

A giant warehouse space (also known as the Australian Technology Park) in Sydney is transformed into a 360-degree runway.

In the middle of it all, a candlelit dinner is hosted by none other than Neil Perry, featuring a delicious assortment of tea-smoked ocean trout, white cut chicken and a mushroom salad. I could go on for days about the food, but that’s not why we’re here, is it? Onto the show.

It’s opened by David Jones first-time ambassador Victoria Lee, who joins the ranks of Jordan Barrett and Jessica Gomes as the faces of the AW18 collections launch.

Victoria is behind a screen, touching a projected image of water. It’s very magical. She’s dressed in Balmain, walking to the soundtrack of The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’. A nice tribute to Dolores O’Riordan.

What follows is a feminine display of David Jones’ international designers. Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga and more prove just why they are some of the top performing brands in the world.

Emporio Armani opens with a strong red blazer and pant set, a clue of what’s to come for the rest of the show. Suiting of all kinds plays a big role across all brands, because 2018 is obvi the year of the power suit.

Aje sticks to a colour palette of fuchsia, white and black, combining delicate lace pieces with thigh-high boots. At this point, musician/model Trè Samuels breaks away from the runway and starts singing. His voice is pure gold and frankly, I think it’s unfair that he has been blessed with that voice and those looks. Some people have it all.

Carla Zampatti and Kate Sylvester follow suit, playing with red silks, more fuchsia and more thigh-high boots. No complaints here. Bianca Spender introduces muted greens, combining them with checked coats and houndstooth pants. We’re also shown an ink faux fur jacket and navy faux leather pieces.

In comes Sabatini with an almost Western-style look. I’m talking wide-brimmed fedoras, faux fur jackets, corsets and high gumboots.

Next up, Calibre shows us how to perfect men’s suiting, with Jordan Barrett leading the charge in an all-black ensemble. It’s at this point that I should probably discuss Barrett. The guy demands attention. Looking at him is like looking at a dog walking on hind legs. You can’t look away.

But I digress, back to the show.

We’re given familiar looks from Viktoria and Woods and Jac + Jack, with creamy white ensembles from the former and a mix of men’s and women’s options by the latter.

Also down the runway struts our second mature-aged model, proving that:

a) age means nada when it comes to beauty, and,

b) I can rock long grey hair and a colourful pantsuit in 30 years.

Aussie favourites Lee Mathews, Bassike and By Johnny show us everything we’ve come to love and expect from our homegrown labels. Lee Mathews’ polka-dot ruffles, Bassike’s casual-chic vibe and the fluted mini dress that’s become synonymous with By Johnny feature throughout.

Following the jam-packed runway is Bec and Bridge, Dion Lee and Christopher Esber, and it’s here where silk reigns supreme. Luxurious greens flutter down the runway from Bec and Bridge, while Dion Lee previews an ivory silk top and skirt set so perfect I could probably wear it every day for the rest of my life.

Next up is my pick of the runway. macgraw plays with feminine charm, previewing mini dresses complete with puffy sleeves and frills. Also unmissable is the iconic pairing of each dress with sparkling silver boots, complemented by the brand’s final display – a sparkling silver power suit that resembles a disco ball. Well done.

Usual suspects Camilla and Alice McCall play on familiar styles, while Jack London offers a range of men’s suiting options from Bordeaux sets to olive leather jackets and tan suedes.

Ahhhh yes, and here comes Romance Was Born. Those colours and frills could be spotted anywhere. Notable mention goes to the pyjama-looking robe and pant set, taking sleepovers to the streets.

Ginger and Smart and Rebecca Vallance follow with texture. While Ginger and Smart offers an interesting play on sequins, white ruffles and golden flowers, Rebecca Vallance utilises fringing, crepe and wool coats.

All of a sudden, the music is slowed right down and doves fly across the screen. Here comes Pantone’s 2017 colour of the year, courtesy of Rachel Gilbert and Manning Cartell. It’s used across sequin gowns, tops and chiffon mini dresses.

Camilla and Marc steps it up a notch with electric blue silk dresses and power suiting, while the music picks back up with the arrival of Strateas Carlucci. From KITX, there’s macramé, kimonos and an earthy colour palette.

We’re then shown another round of international designers, before Zimmermann takes out the closing of the show. Another model struts out and… no, wait. That’s George Maple. She belts out a rendition of ‘Hero’ and reminds us all how talentless we really are.

That’s it, it’s all over. The crowds leave their tables to mingle, while I’m left to finish off the rest of Neil Perry’s kaarage chicken. Challenge accepted.

Until next time, DJs.


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