The Slow Fashion Runway showcased the designers pushing back against fast fashion

Images by Bray Taylor
Words by Sasha Gattermayr

Slow fashion is about longevity and every day, repeat wear. This means styles are often more understated, the palette being predominantly black, white and neutral tones and cuts being simple and sophisticated.

The challenge of presenting these intricate and wearable clothes on the runway is bringing an element of theatricality. Taking clothes that are so inherently wearable and turning it into a show – particularly in an age of attention-grabbing runway spectaculars and gimmick looks – it can be particularly difficult to stand out.

The Slow Fashion Runway at MFW very much succeeded.

It opened with emerging designer Chloe Mottau who specialises in loom-woven and hand-crafted knitwear. Putting slow, ethical, and natural womenswear at the forefront of the fashion consciousness, she presented silhouettes draped with raw edging and a slight flare, proving knitwear can flow.

Lois Hazel followed with highly wearable, very Melbourne all-black looks before bursting into brighter prints.

Up next was fan favourite Kuwaii, putting their collaboration with artist Minna Leunig front and centre. The label’s signature boxy silhouettes were covered in the artist’s Terra Incognito print, with earthy tones of rust, dusty pink and mustard dominating the palette. The kimono and wrap styles in crushed crepe and natural fabrics delivered more classic silhouettes.

Dress Up brought straight-up sass to its runway strut. Walking into Khruangbin’s ‘Evan Finds the Third Room’ which repeats ‘yes’ throughout its lyrics, echoed the sentiment of the room. Look after look the crowd nodded and bopped in agreement.

Donning flowing silks in natural tones, Elk turned up with delicate fold detailing in highly wearable shapes. Búl continued the statement towards wearability with block-coloured separates and fine-lined prints.

Made-to-order label Kalaurie was next, giving us volumes in dropped proportions. Beyond drop-waist styles, we saw drop shoulders, drop busts, and drop cuff-flares. A little more trend aware then the preceding labels, longevity in styles was secured through a muted colour palette of largely black and white.

VoVo quite literally stole the show serving unapologetic glam. The fruit of musicians-cum-designers, Phoebe Taylor and Ash Pierce’s, shared love for underground rock bands and the spectacle of performance, the designers dominate their sparsely populated field by creating bespoke garments to dress and style musicians, artists and performers. On the runway they were equally as showstopping, playing with disco-inspired metallics, sequins, latex and pop colours. Paying homage to the pair’s punk roots, the fashion rebellion continued with a bedazzled veil and a jacket back emblazoned with an antichrist symbol.

Legitimate angel and style queen, Kaiit, then emerged to perform smooth, lush vocals that drew cheers from the crowd.

The age and body diversity of the models in this show was exceptionally noteworthy, even featuring one model who was heavily pregnant. It felt as though the grounds of change were rumbling.

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