MFW’s Poolside Runway had a lifeguard, bike shorts and fashion-athleisure

Images by Lucas Dawson Photography
Words by Christina Karras

Are socks and sandals cool? Asking for a friend.

Situated in the historic Melbourne Baths, the Poolside Runway was our chance to see the best of athleisure wear in a more relaxed atmosphere, as Fashion Week begins to wind down.

Sun shone through the windows, and the nostalgic smell of chlorine in the air, models walk the pool to perfect summer playlist featuring the sounds of Anderson .Paak and Kali Uchis – all with a lifeguard on standby.

Sustainable favourite NAGNATA opened the show with ‘80s aerobics vibes. Coloured leggings and neon bike shorts featured paired with singlets layered under hounds-tooth crop tops for a retro aesthetic. Models also rocked purple socks with sandals from Palladium.

Up There and Converse offered casual but cool looks. Hoodies were paired with spray jackets and printed boardies, while a neon pink two-tone fishing vest made my wishlist. Coloured details were a running theme throughout the show, right down to the pink and yellow laces on the Chuck Taylors.

As part of Converse’s new Converse X initiative, which has sourced young trailblazers from around the world, members from 1,984-strong closed Instagram group styled, walked and shot Converse’s offering on the runway.

The North Face followed suit with a purple puffer, a mod-twist on its signature jacket, while Huffer sent models down the runway in matching male and female looks. Vibrant puffer jackets dominated the range of colour-coordinated outfits, in red, fluorescent green, and bright yellow co-ords.

A brief departure from all the activewear, New York’s Rag & Bone provided more feminine silhouettes, flowing gingham dresses were made street-style with matching dad caps and PVC green bum bags.

Sködia saw bike shorts printed with dollar graphics, but the baby blue shoestring bikini and pant set with oversized arm scrunchies was the look of the line.

Socks and sandals made a second feature, this time styled with the inimitable outwear from Rains. The brand’s longline jackets played into the matrix trend, and an all-silver outfit was the tin-man aesthetic I never knew I needed; comprising of a wet-look trench coat, reflective pants and a silver backpack.

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