Fashion Week provides a fabulous buzz for all fashionistas alike. Letting us see the latest trends, designs and meet the designers.
Of course, our secret delight is all the street style inspo.
Since we were unable to attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this year (we were in South Africa working on our next project – exciting things to come), we had our Hills & West friend Coco Louise update us with her highlights on 2019 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week!
Coco Louise’s take on Fashion Week…
Fashion Week in Australia is still a little conservative. Not as mainstream as O/S. However, I must say I have some favourites this year and can really see a change in style through our culture. It is a beautiful experience to witness the passion behind a brand through its style and what it creates for the runway. Especially when you see society and fashion (and all it encompasses) meeting in one space.
The highlights for me were the following brands:
This iconic Australian brand opens fashion week with a collection of captivating tones, prints and details that resemble Australia’s native landscape, oceans and highways. Through patchwork, ruffles, beading and padding, Aje has injected Australia’s earthy and natural tones through its splashes of prints. Reminding us of how ethereal Australia really is. An effortless combination of boxy drop shouldered shirts styled with pegged stirrup pants caught my attention as much as the pleated long maxi dresses with mismatched earrings.
Now I was not physically there for the show, but that does not mean I did not sit back in the lounge and admire the sensuality of his collection. Laid back yet detailed. The eye-catching silhouette for me was the rustic tailored suit, the detailed weave on the sleeves and pants were just, somewhat my melt factor. This was also seen on a beautiful loose fitted dress which flared out into pleats. Christopher Esber patched some pieces with contrasting textures and colour, intersecting with the collection in an interesting way. The under-belly low waist features where surely sensual in the most sophisticated way.
As a matter of fact, this was my favourite show. Uniting folklore and past European inspirations from the Victorian Era ( I saw this trend coming…) mixed with the present. This was everything I can relate to in terms of fashion x culture. Strong styling mixed with layers of texture from lace and silk. As well as quality cotton and the movement of cutting edge handkerchief hems and subtle fraying. The collection embodies a romance of power and warmed the eye with grace.
It’s always in the detail for me, and Leo & Lin nailed each garment detail by detail. A pinched-in shoulder with ruching flowing into a soft bell sleeve, to tailored peaked collars and Valentino cuffs – some which were ribbed in symmetry to the waistbands… Subtle pleats inserted through maxi four-gore skirts and mandarin double necklines. This is a start to what I call ultimate beauty….
Another absolute stand out for me. This designer showcased her collection as part of the NextGen. Immediately I will say, she really is the “Next Gen!” When it comes to taking part in new brands, you know you will be in for a spin! Fresh and creative minds are challenging, yet powerfully making their way through using unique fabrics, yarns and knits with the ability to take the risk in choosing colour, drape and cuts. Chloe Mottau stunned me with her collection of beautifully natural dyed knits. A Mexican colour scheme ecstatically flows through the collections loosely fitted layers of track-like pants, asymmetric maxi’s, tunic tops and ribbed high necklines. Open Cardigans and blazers swung by with ultra long and wide sleeves.
A sophisticated woman who’s image speaks for herself. A tranquil reflection of movement through each silhouette creates an emphasis on demur beauty. Matteau uses harmonic lines with free-flowing fabrics and a tinge of tassels. High-waisted paper bag dirndl skirts and cropped peasant blouses. A subtle tone of full-bodied, micro-floral print graded its way through bathers, sets and maxi’s which framed a tender soul around the collection. For any time of any day, these looks will leave a mark on your appearance.
I was happy to see one of my all time favourites that I have been exposing for some time now on social media and my YouTube. This accessory is the core difference to every outfit.
Mismatched Earrings!!! I just love the dramatic effect it gives to an outfit. You could be wearing the most ethereal outfit, yet, the mismatched earrings add voltage to the look.
Head Scarf, and this time it takes us back to the traditional use of one. Elegantly wrapped around the head knotted around the neck under the chin. Trés Chic!
Bucket Hat, this is not for everyone. The bucket hat can either appear very quirky or minimal. It really depends on how you style it. I believe it can portray in a sharp manner. With a crisp button up short sleeve shirt and a loosely fit pegged pants add those mismatched earrings… now you try it!
A Box or Triangle-shaped Bag, for something different. Held by a short handle these bags can wrap up your look from am to pm. A patent look executes a sleeker image.
Mismatched earrings as seen at the Aje show. Photo by: Alessandro Viero/Gorunway.com
Head Scarf as seen at Alice McCall Show. Photo By: Alessandro Viero/Gorunway.com
Box Bag as seen at Karla Spectic Show. Photo By: Alessandro Viero/Gorunway.com
Triangle Bag as seen at Karla Spectic Show. Photo By: Alessandro Viero/Gorunway.com
Bucket Hat as seen at Double Rainbouu. Photo By: Saski Wilson/ Courtesy of Double Rainbow.
What I wore and why
DAY 1 AM:
My first thought is to start my week with something meaningful and special. Not what the camera’s want to see but what I wanted to feel. Emotions are very important to me and being able to express my emotions through what I wear is my way of feeling confident and radiant!
I wore a beautiful set that was my mother’s in the 80’s. My mum is my style icon and I’ve always admired how she would thoughtfully assemble her pieces one by one, delicately with love. Each item of clothing or accessory was sacred to her. I constructed this set with a vintage bow belt from her too. My accessories were all my grandmothers. She wore these quality snakeskin pumps, accordion box bag and satin gloves in the ‘40s. For me, this is fashion, this is style and this is beauty. Being able to style hand down pieces together from the most influential women in my life is the highlight of my wardrobe. I feel lucky I can fit into these pieces and will forever care for them till I can hand them down…
DAY 1 PM:
At the Jonathan Simkhai show, I wore a heavy lace maxi dress, with long sleeves that have a detailed scolloping around the edges and a refined high neckline. The movement of this dress brings a lot of power to my walk, anyone’s walk! I layered this dress with a satin navy swing jacket I designed 10 years ago. The Collar and cuffs feature dentelle lace that tied in beautifully with the dress. I wore this dress because I felt romance when I thought of Jonathan Simkhai. Although, his collection was not what I expected it to be.
I just got my hair cut and I have been feeling inspired by some striking ‘70s outfits hitting the runways in Europe. So I sourced myself a ‘must have’ outfit from a new label in Sydney Ms Hem. Don’t you just love new brands! I do! A wide leg camel paper bag pant with this statement floral print, tied collar shirt and one of my favourite sleeves, the bell sleeve. I cinched up my classic A-line trench coat’s sleeves to reveal the shirt’s details. Now, the fun part is the accessories, I reached out of my International jewellery brand and paired this look with some striking pink/red spaceship earrings from Azade Jewellery, soon to hit Australia. DM me for more info. I couldn’t believe I spotted a very similar shaped bag which is a prototype from Hills & West, oh my goodness when I first laid eyes on that bag in her (Aisha’s) showroom, no one, not even its talented designer could stop me from wearing this! Delicious, I think you all need one. Now, I know I have injected red, pink and white with my accessories. However, if you closely look at my shirt, you will see fine lines of green and that is where I tied in my leather bottle green pumps from another incredible Australian brand, Ashley Lim.
DAY 3 AM:
I love this look because I am and always have been a fan of Peaked collars and Valentino cuffs. I layered this detailed Leo & Lin shirt dress with an A-line swing coat from their AW19 collection. Because I am petite, I chose to remove the sash from the waist of the coat and tied it beneath the collar to give me that extra height and elevate the look. My mismatched, layers of bangles and necklace were all from the talented designer, Susie Driver. My wow factor of the outfit was incorporating that touch of rouge, from the added strap on my Hills & West Lunar bag and also my patent soft square-toed ankle boot from Ashley Lim.
DAY 3 PM:
This was for a men’s wear show, I did do the obvious and wear a suit but brought a difference with my styling. How? I incorporated statement earrings from Susan Driver’s 70’s style necklace and kept those layers of bangles, I wore those all week actually. :p The best part was including my Voodoo illuminating hosiery, black with bronze sparkles throughout which blended in with my eye-catching copper loafers from Ashley Lim. I held onto the Lenny Belt bag from Hills & West in white and also detached the strap from another Lenny bag as my belt. Sometimes, we need to think a little outside the box for difference in style.
Leo & Lin lace maxi is back, yes, I wore it again but differently. This time I chose to layer the dress with a red chunky sweater from Ms Hem. I love this look. Knits with maxi’s, or pleated midi skirts or pencil skirts. Superfine and relaxed. I wore my Bared stitched cowboy boots with Voodoo socks peeking through the top. My look felt effortlessly cool with a mix of European fem. Topped it off with accessories from Susan Driver, the Hills & West Lenny bag and threw above my shoulders a vintage, reworked leather jacket by One Of A Kind Denim – Hand-painted print by Sarah Darby.
What’s next for COCO
If I told you, it wouldn’t be exciting anymore…. Let just say I am working on more styling videos so stay tuned YouTube – www.youtube.com/c/cocolouise
And a little surprise capsule collaboration….. 😉
X Coco Louise
We hope you enjoyed this update as much as we LOVED how Coco styled Hills & West!
As lovers of vintage (timeless pieces that work across decades is what we’re all about) we hope you were all truly inspired by her vintage statement outfits.. We did some vintage shopping in South Africa and found some gems. Also, don’t forget to scavenge though your mothers wardrobe to find some classic gems like that 😉
If you want more street style insp check out the following coverage:
Sandra Semburg for Vogue
Melissa Ong for eonline
Photographed by Dan Roberts for Vogue World