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:: Spotlight :: David Jones - Winter 2006 Collections Launch

By: Renee Stekel

David Jones’ fashion slogan ‘We believe in Australian fashion because we believe in the very best of Australian talent,’ certainly rang true on its recent Winter 2006 Collections Launch. DJ’s played host to the delight of the A-list public that attended the soiree with collections from designers Alannah Hill, internationally acclaimed Sass & Bide, Jayson Brunsdon, Willow, Easton Pearson, Collette Dinnigan and Akira just to mention a mere few.

Unfolding for the second year in a row at the historic Melbourne Town Hall, the theme ‘Winter in the Orient’ created a luxurious decandent mood with dark red lighting and red Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling. A huge video installation was the backdrop to the wide red carpeted runway branding the names of designers and pictures of their models as they strutted their stuff in person for all fashionistas eyes to see. However it was Australia's international model Megan Gale who stole the spotlight in every parade she featured in, to the thrilled applause of the crowd every time she took to the runway. Megan looked divine in every outfit she donned especially in an amazing Simona electric blue satin gown and a blue and ivory Akira kimono mini dress. She strode alongside David Jones Youth Ambassadors Samantha Harris and Abbey Lee as well as other top Australian models.

Guests arrived on the red carpet early for drinks and finger food in the mould of Designers, VIPs, celebrity guests and fashion & media industry. The bustling crowd to name just a handful consisted of Peter Morrissey, Jayson Brunsdon, Amanda Briskin, Alannah Hill, Tony Maticevski, Lord Mayor John So, Simone Warne, Kym Watkins, Stephen Curry, Rebecca Maddern, Tottie Goldsmith, Grant Smilie, Gaynor Wheatley, Ann-Maree Cooksley and Mick Molloy.

After the delightful delicacies of miniature crayfish appetisers and sparkling Moet & Chandon had been served people began to take their places in the tiered stands lining the runway. On this particularly balmy Melbourne night most of the female guests were in floaty dresses and heels while the men were smart casual in shirts, pants and some blazers. Once the already dimmed red lights set the scene summer outside was forgotten to the beat of a different drum, a Chinese style drum solo set the wintery mood for Alannah Hill’s opening parade with a shimmering gold David Jones logo on the wall behind lasting to the closing of Akira’s remarkable finale.

Loose long curls dominated the hairstyles for the women and differing tones of grey, pastel pink, burgundy, cream, emerald green and teal were a recurring theme throughout the 22 short collections. Rich luxurious fabrics played a main role in bringing the designs to life and as a forecast for Winter 2006 look out for plush velvets, slippery satins, floaty chiffon and plenty of lavish sequining! Highlights of the parades included the standout style of Alice McCall with tailored geometric shapes and bolder colour tones like fire engine red, Zimmermann’s clever use of lush fuchsia hues in a sea of black, Morrissey’s divine cream wool coat, and Simona's eye catching electric blue satin pieces. Then there was Jayson Brunsdon’s refreshing style boasting the best of the whole parades dresses and use of satin, Collette Dinnigan's playfully sophisticated short ruffled sequin pieces, and Akira's stunning unique finale filled with his trademark layering and kimono style pieces perhaps the most impressive parade of all the collections.

Overall the theme of the night forecasts a definite return to high waisted styles for 2006. The gorgeous fabrics, the clever tailoring and divine colour schemes shone to life against a backdrop of mystical bamboo forests and the bustling streets of Shanghai which was all highlighted knowledgeably on the models by Estee Lauder make-up, a proud sponsor of the event. Importantly, David Jones demonstrated why it is at the forefront in showcasing Australian fashion.

Alannah Hill
Bare by Rebecca Davies Kirrily Johnston
Collette Dinnigan
Lisa Ho
Harry Who
Morrissey Simona
Zimmermann Megan Gale & Peter Morrissey
Megan Gale
Alannah Hill Toni Maticevski (left) and friends
Stephen Bucknall & Suzzane Strumpic Bianca Russell & Melanie Snell
Louise, Ralph Carr and Larissa Jayson Brunsdon, Gaynor Wheatley, & Peter Morrissey
Rebecca Maddern and her mother Mignon Henne and friend
Tottie Goldsmith & Kim Watkins Leah Grant (right) & sister Alyssa
Mike McKay & his wife guests