Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) – The low down from a fashion agent’s perspective…..

After making many trips down to the overseas passenger terminal this week and deciding to deliberately bypass some of the more mainstream shows, I made my final trip last night to see Alaister Trung….a Vietnamese designer who I had been most interested in attending his show after seeing his garments in his very chic and stylist minimalist shops. Alistair Trung’s garments have a strong appeal with a slightly older arty demographic, which interested us greatly. I was struck initially by his use of fur last winter, with stunning uses of rabbit fur garments in collars and wraps which just added a point of difference to the usual gilets.

The show kicked off with some very avant-garde music, which I have got to say was so very piercing on the old eardrums.  The models he used were quite an extremist look, male models wearing female drapped garments, a lot of nipples on show and his usual beautiful draping and usage of mesh were evident, with straps of leather.

Abstract prints on draped tunics followed with asymetrical hem lines, trailing behind on the runway. However to be honest, I felt like getting out a pair of scissors and cutting them off. I could see the potential of these stunning tunics from a commercial perspective, but perhaps with not such long trains. Then out came the models in a beautiful array of blue, yellow, green and white…..which is a completely different look from his usual greys, blacks and white signature tones. It took my breath away….. the beauty of this colour blocking against the dark skin on the models.

As beautiful as some of the garments……..there were some good and bad elements. Some styles I could see that would appeal to so many of our customer base,  while some things frustrated me and then there  were others which would be highly commercial.  One thing I found very hard to take, was this over useage of mesh in a lot of the shows.  Which also one of the Vogue writers commentated on……it is just not realistic to have so much nipples on show……at least not to the supermarkets I venture too.  But let’s face it designers also have to appeal to the editors so perhaps best to see the range off the runway. However all in all, the Trung label is one we feel that has a very potential wholesale base.

The Shakuhachi show was amazing, gorgeous silks and mirrored jackets……some young pieces and some not so young pieces. Amazing label strong branding always appealing and already a presence in David Jones with a good wholesale base, I would say this one was the winner.

Swimwear and resort wear collection kicked off and while we were allocated front row seating from one of the designers….the irony is we ended up in last rows as we misread our seating and the confused staff member got confused when I asked her row ” I ” not realising it was row 1! (you have to laugh at these mishaps).  The designer apologised profusely and me not wanting to be remembered as some out of control diva remembered my good manners,  thanked her for the invite and congratulated on her show which was a mix of beaded kaftans descending from her indian heritage. Had a meeting in the Westin suites discussing her range, the day wear was especially gorgeous, however declined in the end on the brand.

While Miss Ukon was a collection of floaty pastel short dresses with die cuts which were pretty with lovely silks. I personally found the collection played quite safe look and definitely targeting at a younger audience for our client base……perhaps a little too safe?  Boots worn with dresses and hoodie tops? I am not sure if there was also enough of a point of difference from a retail perspective to compete with labels out there such doing such a great job at amazing price points such as Cameo & Finders Keepers.

The wrap up ? Still undecided……..personally I loved watching all of them……however whether or not there are enough retailers for this to be as lucrative from a fashion agency perspective at these price points always niggle at us. A lot of these designers, would probably benefit from going vertical as opposed to wholesale realistically with the exception of a few department stores.  However, I do not give up hope…….we look forward to speaking with designers and see ranges after their shows in their showrooms and as always we will back next year at RAFW to see the new talent emerging.

Garland & Garland Fashion Pty Ltd Fashion Agents Sydney Australia http://www.garlands.com.au/

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2 Comments

  1. awesome rundown of the week!

    x

    http://www.catwalkofwords.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for your angle Phoebe! As fabulous as it is to attend these shows, it’s hard to know if they work for agents financially when time can used to sell. 🙂

    Kate at Jet Apparel
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