australia fashion week: kate sylvester

(images via vogue)

alright my sunshine children. are you ready for some australian fashion? yeah, i was a little surprised at the timing, too, given that (i think?) we’re usually accustomed to seeing the sydney shows sometime in may, but with a total makeover (somewhere along the way, the event lost the name ‘rosemount australian fashion week’ and is now with all that official mbfw branding, like so many of the others), it seems to have moved up (like practically all the rest), so here we are! the summer will be a dry thing, though, let me tell you now.

but, alas, we must celebrate the influx of fashion in the meantime, non? and with it comes so many of our favourite oceana-based labels, like new zealand designer kate sylvester and her latest for the s/s 2014 season (at least we’ve got some other spring shows now to keep the brazilians company, yes?), titled ‘the last sitting’, after the bert stern book of the same name. just as we’ve come to expect out of her (see s/s 2011, s/s 2012, f/w 2012, f/w 2013), it was laid back and comfy-cool as ever.

right, so! according to the designer’s blog, which gives us alllll the background we need on the show, “(a) legendary series of Bert Stern photographs set the tone, capturing the starlet in all her complex, conflicted, charismatic beauty just six weeks before her death. The first of these photos are bathed in hazy LA sunshine; Marilyn is fresh, happy and sexy. The photos then become more ambiguous – lying amongst strands of pearls and glitter, these photos show a darker, more troubled side to Marilyn Monroe.”

“Kate Sylvester Spring Summer finds inspiration from both sides of Marilyn’s character,” it carried along, “and it is these carefully considered influences, unexpected elements and a meticulously high attention to detail that are defining factors of the collection. The sports elements give the silhouettes a sharp, modern edge, the masculinity brings a cool nonchalance. The colours and signature prints are fresh and clean. This is Marilyn Monroe seen through resolutely 21st century eyes.”

elsewhere, we heard the new zealand herald thoughtfully reflecting that “(s)cattered pearls and beading adorned to tops and knitwear hinted at disarray beneath the prettiness, as did a brilliant torn tweed print on silk, while black and white lace hinted at lost innocence. Sylvester is a sucker for a cute boy and frequently incorporates masculine elements into her ranges: this season via the many men in Marilyn’s life, from Joe Dimaggio and baseball – brilliant stitching detail and leather baseball jackets – to Arthur Miller’s buttoned up tailoring. As always, great suiting from Sylvester, including a stand out military cropped Eisenhower jacket (according to the show notes, inspired by Marilyn’s first husband, policeman James Dougherty).”

“Knitted twin sets and body-con pencil skirts were updated via clever styling which included waisted belts, baseball caps and tan ankle boots, while textures such as leather, lace and embellishment provided just enough edge to an unabashedly feminine collection,” trilled fab sugar. “The retro references were all there in silhouette and spirit, but these are clothes with a distinct sporty and sexy vibe that the modern-day girl will want to wear again and again,” while their sister site, bella sugar, gave the rundown on all the show’s beauty looks.

then, finally, relayed the excellent australian site the vine, “Sylvester did what she does best by showing off her mad skillz for layering and attention to detail. Lace cups nursing Monroe’s fragile heart were worn underneath James Doherty inspired lurex linen suit jackets, with a white leather pencil skirt and cardi embellished with glittery stars encrusted with pearls – a look which was a nod to her ‘time’ at the White House. The DiMaggio story was a highlight with baseball stitching and tan coloured leathers seen on a number of t-shirts and dresses, not to mention the free and fun front row garb – branded baseballs.” *yeow! (see some additional images at marie claire)

(watch the full fashion show video here)

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