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Trending 8 June 2021

Breakout Trends from AAFW

After a re-branding, the annual iconic Sydney-bound fashion week returned after a COVID induced year in hiatus. Kicking off its very first year as the Afterpay Australian Fashion Festival, the variety of runways, panels and showings sought to showcase the best of the best of fashion – Down Under

Spotlighting emerging brands and faces alongside huge players; the entire display was an exciting foray back into the physical fashion scene. And with a year off to prepare, designers, both small and large, brought their a-game. From the designers and models in the shows, to the influencers in the front row and on the streets in between, we noticed a wealth of micro-trends cropping up again and again. From bold patterns and matching sets, to retro revivals and modernisations, here’s our top trends from this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Festival we think are worth keeping an eye on.

Words By Ruby Staley

Bold Co-ordinates

Whether it be patterned, brightly coloured, delicately textured or in muted tones; two, three and even four-piece sets were one of the clear highlights of this season of Sydney Fashion Week.

We spotted perfectly matching co-ords at shows by modern designers including Christopher Esber, Anna Quan and Maggie Marilyn with their ensembles showing just how easy it can be to channel sophistication.

Both the whimsical Alice McCall and youthful Romance Was Born took a slightly different route with their coordinated sets.

Pushing the boundaries with cuts, colours and textures, during their runways we saw creative crochet, metallic leather, glittering velvet and bright – almost neon coloured – co-ord pieces all make an appearance and evidently steal the show.

For experimental dressers, if co-ords aren’t your thing, try mixing up different sets and add colour coordinated accessories.

For the co-ord lovers like me, just throw a faux fur trim coat over the top of a matching duo for a fuss-free trendy and put together look – perfect for Fashion Week!

After holding the spotlight and making appearances at almost every show during Afterpay’s Australian Fashion Week, here’s hoping co-ords are the next big thing – here’s to easy dressing!

Disco Revival

Although moments of disco fashion have been trickling into the mainstream since the return of the flare legged pants, Afterpay’s Australian Fashion Week designers put the decade front and centre for this year’s showings.

Front runner for the retro revival; Alice McCall’s aptly named show Discoteca showcased intensely coloured and glittering pieces as an ode to the disco era.

Psychedelic patterns, Jackie Kennedy-esque jackets, wide collared pantsuits and sequins galore were front and centre while the models strutted down the runway in Farrah Fawcett curls and chunky platform boots and sandals.

Continuing the funky celebration, we also saw moments of the 60s and 70s dancing decades channelled in Zimmermann’s boho beauties and Christopher Esber’s stripe patterned pieces.

With crochet at the forefront of the collection, Romance Was Born took on the era with flowing, oversized silhouettes and playful patterns – ideal for dancing in.

Newcomer, Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’ immersive colour takeover and wearable art took knit, lycra and colour to a place of pure joy and experimentation – how disco!

Grab a sparkly mini, huge faux fur and get your dancing shoes on because disco is here, and here to stay.

Layers, Layers, and Layers

Made iconic down under by fashion powerhouses Macgraw and Zimmermann, tiered dresses and skirts seem to be having their time once again.

Both layered pieces and pieces intended for layering were another standout trend from this year’s showing at Sydney’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.

With frills and tiered dresses at the cornerstone of this aesthetic, throughout the shows we also saw the likes of skirts, pants, dresses, tights, shirts, jumpers – whatever it may be, being layered.

Both Romance Was Born and Alice McCall took this trend the whimsical route, designing dresses and separates dripping with soft frills in soft, silky fabrications.

For a more modern, structural take look to Erik-Yvon and Iordanes Spyridon Gogos who layered often clashing pieces on top of another for an interesting and eye-catching appeal.

Do it yourself and style softly tiered dresses and blouses with structural blazers and boots for a balanced, modern look. Even try out layering a dress over some denim or trousers for a sophisticated take on the 2000s trend.

However you do it, remember to layer up!

Baby Doll Dresses

Playing into the iconic 60s silhouette, this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week showcases proved the baby doll dress is here – and in a huge, puffy way.

Characterised by a short tight bodice with fluffy sleeves and a wide A-line skirt that usually falls mid-thigh, the baby doll is just as it sounds; a cute, fun and multi-seasonal dressy piece .

Over the years, players like Zimmermann, Arnsdorf and Macgraw have developed this style over time into their own unique design offerings.

Although the style has been slowly making its way into the mainstream, this year’s collections taught to re-think and subvert the classic style.

This year, designers including Yousef Akbar, Romance Was Born, Aje. and Alice McCall took the iconic style and ran with it.

Playing with colour, detailing, texture and even form, we saw puffy sleeves and generously hemmed skirts trawling the runways all week long.

We recommend trying out a baby doll style paired with chunky black platform or combat boots and on-trend pair of glamorous logo-centric tights for a comfy, contrasting tans-seasonal look.

Cutting Convention

Modern styling and design pioneers including Raf Simons and Maison Margiela worked to bring ideas of deconstructed and unconventionally shaped apparel into the collective consciousness.

Making their own mark on unconventionally designed fashion, throughout Fashion Week, we saw both emerging and established designers play with form and function, strange strapping and odd cut outs in their collections.

With the likes of Christopher Esber and Anna Quan showing how its done in a sleek, sophisticated way, Yousef Akbar and Alice McCall played with form and unconventional cut outs in beautifully coloured fabrications.

Throwing commerciality to the wind, contemporary designers such as Mariam Seddiq, Jordan Dalah and Iordanes Spyridon Gogos created wearable art that strayed completely from design conventions.

Playing with unique and gravity defying silhouettes, sharp cutouts and unique straps and detailing, for their futuristic fashion appeal it was an absolute joy to watch these collections come down the runway.

Dip your toe into deconstructed and unconventional fashion by styling around a dress, top or co-ord set that utilises an interesting cut out or strap detailing.