Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Fashion Festival is upon us and with that comes a million different weird and wonderful pieces of clothing that we’re meant to interpret and wear ourselves.
It can be a tough slog. Fashion can be exclusive, hard to understand and occasionally, just occasionally, it can feel like the industry’s trolling us.
But though so many of us struggle to see ourselves on the runway amid the perfectly styled outfits, carefully curated shows and young models, there’s merit to looking at the consistencies.
What keeps popping up? What’s not going away?
That’s the stuff, my friend, you’ll be wearing later this year.
The double breasted blazer
I’m cheating here, because actually, I mean double-breasted anything. The double-breasted boyfriend blazer – particularly in plaid – may be the alternative you need to your trusty leather jacket and the best way to pull you through the not-yet-winter, not-quite-summer nights.
Viktoria and Woods championed both the boyfriend blazer and trench coat on this year’s runway, while Camilla and Marc’s blazers will always be their most popular staples.
If you invest in anything this year, make it a good blazer. There are some well-cut, well designed ones on the market. Some are pricier than others, too. If you’re willing to invest, Balmain and Camilla and Marc are great touch points. If you’re less inclined to drop entire pay packets on a jacket, check out Forever New or Portmans.
This time last year at Melbourne’s biggest week in fashion, red was everywhere. Some were sceptical, others not sure about their ability to pull it off. Come Spring racing carnival and red saturated the race track. That is to say: if a colour is all over the runway, you’ll bet it’ll be in your wardrobe in a few months time. Truly. You have no power.
This year David Jones dedicated an entire section of their runway to popsicle colours.
Think bright, beautiful greens, violets, hot pinks, cobalt blues and striking yellows. The runway was a gorgeous kaleidoscope of colour.
It may sound boring and overly complicated and too much effort but I assure you, it is not. The runway was brimming with a million different layers – from hats and scarfs to shirts and jumpers and big coats.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, just start simple. Grab yourself a basic turtleneck long-sleeved top and throw your favourite summer outfits over the top to pull you into winter. That layer might be a white shirt or a simple summer dress or even a buttoned-up blazer.
It’s a remarkably cheap way to find new purpose for old clothes. Start small, maybe in somewhere like Uniqlo for some good, solid cheap basics.
Ha, you think. You’ve heard this all before. Activewear has never not been a thing.
But let me draw your attention to this: Earlier this month, designers Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning took home one of the country’s biggest accolades – the National Designer Award – for their work on their two-year-old label P.E Nation. P.E Nation, a label filled exclusively with active wear, is fast becoming one of the most popular brands in the country.
And that is why, this week, activewear is bigger than ever.
Consider jeans with side panelling or drop-crotch leisure pants worn with heels. The rules regarding how activewear should be worn are just about all out the window, so throw on your runners and your jeans and your bomber jackets and don’t apologise. It’s farshun, of course.
Listen to the editor-in-chief of InStyle talk all things fashion with Mia Freedman: