MBFWA 2016 In Parting: A Tiny Runway Review


Words and Photos: Reef Gaha | Image Selections: Chloe Crawford | Front of House at MBFWA 2016 |

Caramel Animals presents: a retrospective and alternative look at five MBFWA 2016 shows, captured as our contributors worked furiously behind-the-scenes on parallel projects.
Now that the dust has settled (or was it glitter?), we bring you this irreverent and non-comprehensive look back at a few key Resort ‘16/’17 collection showcases.

Misha Collection

This show grabbed all the headlines thanks to the inclusion of celebrity model Bella Hadid in the catwalk line-up.  Bella is high profile – perhaps thanks in part to big sister Gigi also being a prominent model, and perhaps partly due to romantic ties with contempo Hip Hop artist The Weeknd (sic).  Her mama Yolanda was also a prominent model in the 1980s, while Bella has made a couple of appearances on one of this generation’s more notorious reality TV shows (about a certain family), and several high calibre magazine covers including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and GQ.

So how about the threads? Misha Collection’s Michelle Aznavorian brought a black and nude palate, with sheer fabrics offset by corsets, lace and tailored dresses, some topped with flowing pieces reminiscent of pared down (let’s avoid the word ‘deconstructed’)  elegant trench coats following a feminine silhouette.
Hair wise, Dale Delaporte and the Prema team brought a slicked back ponytail look, with velvet fabric wrapped around the length of the ponytail.  Bella seemed to enjoy the ‘do so much, she kept the pony in while socialising in Sydney later that evening.
Get this hair look


Yeojin Bae

Yeojin’s ‘Contemplation Collection’ marked the 10th anniversary of this label.  A palate of red, emerald (Lacoste green, perhaps?), black and rouge nudes set the tone for structured, geometric shoulders.  This was complemented by ribbon-cut tassels on flowing skirts and silk fabrics, alongside form fitting shapes and the angular colour blocking with which Yeojin is synonymous.


Steven Khalil

Each successive look in this runway stepped up the opulence and splendour in subtle degrees until the glamour reached its crescendo with the appearance of a $100,000 wedding dress – reportedly 6 months in the making.  The colour palate was shades of Grace Kelly and Audrey H.  Khalil presented a collection that included both chic, modern tailored pieces and classic flowing gowns.  Metallic details, A-lines and pants, and structured necklines graduated into flowing gowns, delicate lace and applied floral touches.

Dale and the Prema team complemented Khalil’s high, detailed necklines by keeping hair ‘stripped away from the face’, tucking strands behind the head, or sweeping tresses back into braids, whilst height and a lush texture at the hairline added gloss and shine.
Get this hair look.


We Are Handsome

Electric prints, striking neon colour and bold fabrics; We Are Handsome’s ‘Hustle Theory’ and ‘Heat Seven’ collections were the highlight of an MBFWA Thursday set aside for active and swimwear.  Each model walked tall in patent gold high-tops, athletic hoods, crop tops and leggings eventually peeled away to reveal acid-tropical swim suits, risqué mesh bodysuits and Blade Runner-esque transparent vinyl pieces.

Garreth Lenagh for Prema styled the hair in keeping with the active theme.  The wet, anti-glamour look was evocative of hitting the streets straight from the beach or gym locker room. ‘Sectioning in the front of the hair embodies the simple act of ‘a girl running fingers through her hair’ while ‘the gold pins were imperfectly placed’ to give the look of a girl who ‘doesn’t use a mirror when getting ready.’
Get this hair look.


Oscar De La Renta

One of the first international fashion houses to have shown at MBFWA, De La Renta’s collection closed the week in spectacular form enlisting celeb Australian model Shanina Shaik, and setting the show to a philharmonic sounding cover of Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach.  A diversity of ball gowns, cocktail dresses, skirts and day-to-evening wear were sashayed forth in a range of colours from bold oranges and reds through to deep navy and light powdery blues.  Feminine contrast was the key as vibrant floral prints and embroidered pieces also appeared along with blazers and pants suits in a myriad of rich fabrics.
John Pulitano of Headcase directed hair styling for Redken.  ‘The look was inspired by the collection which was very French, rich and dreamy.  We wanted a modern take on a classic chignon…  We did that by creating more of a raw texture into the hair and having quite a few fly-always, giving the overall look a classic modern yet ethereal feel.’

In all, over 55 designers showed at MBFWA 2016 and we’ve only shown you 9.09090909091% here.
Despite some initial misgivings, the new May timeslot and the shift to a Resort Collection focus appears to have been a complete success.  For a look behind-the-scenes at some of the hard work which took place backstage, check out MBFWA 2016: Fashion Week from the Other Side.

Reef Gaha is a Sydney based photographer.


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