At a glance: Marked by irreverent styling and crisp execution, Vanishing Elephant’s fashion week debut proves that the five-year-old brand has come of age.
Signature detail: The jumper knotted around the waist – an iteration of a nineties trend that’s destined for big things.
Style might be invisible but you still know it when you see it. Whether it’s a shirt buttoned up to the collar or trousers rolled up at the cuff, it’s often based on insider codes translated to command the eye. In the last few years, Vanishing Elephant has made it their business to crack these codes wide open, scoring a legion of devoted fans and establishing a brand presence that’s blissfully free of the fashion industry circus. But while Huw Bennett, Arron Russell and Felix Chan may have no need for a runway show, their not the types to back away from a challenge – Wednesday’s effort, set in an old railway museum in Australian Technology Park, was a case in point. The runway, which snaked around vintage locomotive equipment, was a study in artful layering and beaten-up elegance. Crisp shirts appeared under sleek, tailored jackets in charcoal and navy while polka dots injected preppy denim separates with a welcome dose of play. Tooth-baring sharks loomed on button-down shirts and a navy-and-blue suit that appears hand-painted, proves that the trio are finding their voice when it comes to womenswear. The label recruited the styling talents of Mark Vassalo for this show suggesting that the Vanishing Elephant gentleman might have found his spirit animal in the nineties skater. The reflective shades, knotted sweaters and Hawaiian shirts might seem to come out of left field, but it’s an experiment that somehow feels right.
At a glance: Jayson Brundson brings Old Hollywood fantasy to the runway with Obsession, a collection that combines luxe fabrics with nods to mid-century couture.
Signature detail: A fashion fixture since the 18th century, the bell sleeve is just the right shade of restrained. But Jayson Brunson’s version – accented with silver embroidery and stopping just above the elbow – manages an offbeat elegance as well.
Jayson Brundson is the type of designer that shows what’s possible when singular vision meets precise execution. Brundson, who’s previously worked as an illustrator and fashion editor, has always understood how clothes can create a story around a woman’s allure – a quality that has seen the label embraced by the likes of Linda Evangelista and Princess Mary. Obsession, a show inspired by screen sirens and celluloid glamour is proof that Brundson is as much an auteur as he is a designer. Boat-neck blouses in silver silk top off stark, knee-length pencil skirts in pure white and glossy black. Elsewhere, a breezy, bell-sleeved trapeze dress finds it opposite in a corseted, silk gown in fiery vermillion that’s a lesson in flawless craftsmanship. Heavy, cinematic music sets the stage for the collection’s standout pieces – a pair of dresses in raw, emerald silk that suggest that it’s possible to become a fifties starlet, if only for a day.
Published online at Urban Walkabout