Summer’s Hottest Looks

Fashion Week Australia, 2016

Marina Tatarenko /

With over fifty presentations at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, there were a huge array of different looks seen. Nevertheless, there were some styles from certain designers that really stood out, guaranteeing that they will soon be this summer’s hottest looks.

Simple Silhouettes
Australian fashion designer Dion Lee had a strong focus on simple silhouettes, and this is a trend that we can expect to see much more of this summer. Inspired by the beauty of glass, Lee’s creations may have boasted simpler silhouettes, but they were still incredibly stunning with their use of beading, fringing and crystals, as well as the way in which the designer manipulated fabrics to create unusual textures.

Ethnic Patterns and Vibrant Colors
One of the brands that really stood out at Fashion Week Australia was Camilla, whose resort collection was packed with vibrant colors and ethnic patterns, in a way that truly epitomizes summer. With light silhouettes, such as printed kaftans, the colors and fabrics are reminiscent of those that you would find in a Moroccan souk and have been put together with a flair that manages to combine upscale with bohemian.

Wide-Legged and Relaxed
Relaxed silhouettes were once again seen at Akira Isogawa, whose gender-neutral collection at Fashion Week Australia was well-received. Featuring ultra lightweight fabrics, such as organza, and wide-legged, billowing pants, these pieces can be both dressed up as well as dressed down, something that is always useful during the summer months.

Sleek and Sexy
The Misha Collection runway this year was filled with sleek and sexy summer looks, with many pieces incorporating a timeless quality that would work for multiple summers to come. With each piece being created from some of the finest fabrics that the world has to offer, a Misha Collection purchase this summer could truly be an investment for your wardrobe.

Edgy Attitude
With a collection titled Not for the Faint Hearted, Holystone’s pieces each had a true sense of attitude. Pairing leather and vinyl swimsuits with jackets, pants and boots, the collection was unexpected, as it lacked a few of the softer touches featured in Holystone’s previous collections, but each of the pieces can easily add a sense of attitude to just about any summer outfit.

Luxurious Fabrics
One of the trends that were seen on multiple runways was the use of decadent and luxurious fabrics, and this was especially true in the case of By Johnny. While previous collections may have boasted a youthful aesthetic, this one was much more sophisticated, making use luxurious fabrics that have been manipulated in beautiful ways. Rather than focussing on prints and colors, the brand chose to bring attention to their garments’ impeccable construction, highlighted by the decadent fabrics that they have been created in.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia showcases the work of some of Australia’s most talented designers. From leather swimsuits to floaty patterned kaftans, the looks may be varied but they can easily each be adapted to your own sense of style, giving you a perfect look for the summer.

Black Business Casual Capsule

Creating a business capsule wardrobe is a concept that has been rising in popularity. This focus on a limited number of quality pieces makes it much easier to stay organized and de-clutter your wardrobe, while also ensuring that you look professional yet stylish each and every day.

Woman dressed in black

All-Black Staples
If black is going to be the main color of your capsule wardrobe, then there are a few all-black staple items that you need to have. Black shoes are a definite must, and if you are going to be purchasing multiple pairs, then try to make it a mix in terms of style, heel height, and how matte or shiny they are. The same applies to black belts, with one thinner one and one wide, statement belt. Next, a classic black blazer will always work as a great go-to item, and can be paired with just about any outfit. A couple of black dresses in different styles, as well as a pair of tailored black pants, are also easy to style, as is a classic black pencil skirt. While you may not want to purchase a black shirt, a classy black blouse is always great for work, while a black knit cardigan is handy on cooler days.

Choose Another Neutral
With black being the main neutral color in your wardrobe, it is important to choose a second neutral that can complement this. Sticking to a couple of neutrals will help to make all of your outfits more cohesive, and will also make each piece easier to style. Blouses are the main garment to buy in your second neutral color, and a simple dress will also work well with all of your other black pieces. Depending on how casual you want your capsule wardrobe to be, denim is a fantastic second neutral to work into your wardrobe.

Woman wearing a black dress

Color Accents
As much as you may want your wardrobe to be centered around black, having an accent of color in your outfit will help to make it pop. Depending on your own personal style, you could either go for rich, jewel tones, or for softer, pastel shades, both of which work beautifully with black. Accessories, such as shoes, belts and jewelry, are great items to use for adding color to an all-black outfit, as is a scarf or a bag.

Pay Attention to Fit
Black is extremely slimming, which is great when it is the main color in your wardrobe, but it also means that you need to pay extra attention to the way in which your clothes fit your body. Try to avoid any drab or shapeless pieces, opting instead for items that flatter your shape.

Fabrics and Textures
There are some all-black outfits that can look quite boring, while others appear stylish and chic. The reason for this is usually the different fabrics and textures that have been worn together, with a variety of different ones creating interesting focal points throughout the outfit.

When it comes to changing your wardrobe with the seasons, you do not need to do a complete overhaul of your business capsule wardrobe. Instead, keep all of your black pieces, as this works for both summer and winter, and instead go with a different color for your second neutral and your color accents, keeping them in line with seasonal styles and trends.

Sustainable Spring Fashion

Woman wearing a dress

The fashion industry has frequently been under attack for having a disregard for the environment, but, in recent years, this has begun to drastically change. This is largely down to consumers themselves, as they increasingly want to know more about the products that they are buying, from where and how it is made to the larger issues that each brand as a whole supports. All of these evolving consumer demands have led to incredible innovations when it comes to sustainable fashion, with experts predicting eco-friendly trends that are truly exciting.

Faux fur jacket

Guilt-Free Fabrics
There is no doubt about the fact that wearing animal products is not at all sustainable, which has led to the development of some beautiful imitation fabrics, often of a much higher quality than the actual original. Faux fur has always been a great alternative to fur, and brands are now experimenting more with these materials, creating faux furs in bright and vibrant spring colors. There are also fantastic arrays of vegetable leathers that look just as spectacular as the real deal. While cotton may not be a fabric that comes from animals, 16% of global insecticide releases come from cotton, making it the opposite of eco-friendly. This, in turn, has led to a growth in organic cotton as well as alternative plant-based fabrics, made from ingredients such as soy, bamboo, wood pulp and corn. Designers and brands are even looking to fruits for fabrics, coming up with products such as Pinatex, which is a fabric made from pineapples.

The vintage trend has been around for a while, and it looks like it could be here to stay for even longer. Buying vintage is a great way to decrease your global footprint, while wearing a piece of clothing that has its own unique history. In terms of spring 2016, Victorian-style pieces are going to be extremely popular, whether it be layering a corset into your outfit or picking vintage pieces that feature exquisite florals and feminine details.

Hand bag

Ethical Bags
A bag is often used much more frequently than an item of clothing, which is why bags have received extra attention in terms of being sustainable and ethical. Thanks to the increase of guilt-free fabrics, as mentioned above, there are now some great alternatives to leather, many of which are just as durable and reliable. For those who want to begin making more sustainable fashion choices, bags are one of the best places to start.

Sustainable Online Shopping
In order to truly reach the masses, sustainable fashion needs to be available online, which is something that was previously lacking. There are now a variety of fashion websites out there that make it easy to buy eco-friendly pieces. Zedy and R.E.V focus on ethically made clothes and accessories, while the ASOS website boasts a Green Room that contains any items that have a certain eco-friendly element, be it the way that they were made or the fabrics that they are produced from. Mass market brands, such as H&M, have also been producing more sustainable lines, with their exclusive Conscious Collection already sold out in many places. This is a trend that other brands will soon adopt as H&M’s success is proof that fashion consumers are now much more eco-conscious than they used to be.

In order for sustainable fashion to really become mainstream, consumers today need to do away with “fast fashion”, choosing instead to invest in apparel for the long term, fixing it rather than replacing it if there is a problem. However, these spring trends are great steps forward when it comes to eco-friendly fashion, and it will not be long before even more brands begin to adopt sustainable strategies of their own.