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:: Spotlight :: VAMFF 2016 - Premium Runways 2 and 3

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

A packed night of runway shows during a very warm spell of weather brought out the best in some of Australia's promising designers, epitomising a local edge and setting high standards.

Presented by Elle Magazine, the brands on show for Premium Runway 2 were Alice McCall, Bec & Bridge, Bianca Spender, LIFEwithBIRD, Macgraw and Manning Cartell.

A new-found maturity has hit Alice McCall’s designs, going from girly to something more refined. It was evident through a more mature palette and an increased use of black. It was tougher and more classier.

In a great acknowledgment of their growing stature, macgraw was awarded the 2016 National Designer Award and they duly convinced people whyin their inspired collection. We saw a pyjama-style shirt dress before a shift towards an equestrian look, with polo necks and riding caps. Relaxed, fun tailoring could be noticed throughout the collection.

LIFEwithBIRD have succeeded in making glistening metallics something of a wardrobe staple. A copper coat and trousers combo becomes the suit of the new season, while the hemlines on loose dresses delivered a distinct 1960s vibe. Their cuts and lines were simple with often dazzle through colour, texture and fabric. A good formula for them to uphold.

Manning Cartell delivered a more traditional palette, rarely straying from white, black and deep burgundy. Embellishments were at their best, with heavy beading climbing over monochrome pants and cropped jackets and adding serious intricacy to high necklines. There was lace and more lace, accessorised with large gold and silver hoops.

It was the details and intricate lace work, fringing and glittery polka dots that made the Bec & Bridge collection shine. The duo also delivered a lacy babydoll dress, something more timeless that we haven’t yet seen from them. Mainly open backs, sleek tailoring and metallics.

Bianca Spender embraced emerald as the colour of the season, presenting perhaps the most seasonally appropriate collection of the night. Trousers were immaculately tailored. Soft lace maxi dresses were contrasted with shiny suiting, giving the feminine collection a strong edge.

Presented by InStyle, the line-up for Premium Runway 3 was Akira, Aurelio Costarella, By Johnny, Canilla, Rachel Gilbert and Megan Park.

Well known exotic designers Camilla and Akira livened up proceedings and shone with their amazing patterns and colours that are sure to be a hit for shoppers this winter. Camilla opened the show taking the audience on a multicultural journey. Inspired by the Mediterranean the collection featured a mixture of lace and mantillas with her trademark detail and loose silhouette. Akira Isogawa’s collection featured embellished fabrics and traditional prints. The vibrant colours and soft romantic silhouettes flowed beautifully.

Megan Park’s luxurious appeal with a modern bohemian spirit really showcased feminine and timeless designs. A stunning emerald maxi dress was a highlight piece in her collection and the collection continues Megan's rise to prominence.

Vibrant colours and stunning silhouettes were brought to life in the By Johnny collection. A fitted white dress with colour grey bell sleeves caught the eye and was very chic.

Exquisite attention to detail continues to mark the Rachel Gilbert wardrobe as the Sydney designer continues to impress those outside her State. Rachel's figure hugging gowns highlighted soft feminine silhouettes through modern directional designs.

Aurelio Costarella brought home the glamour of the evening with his typically beautiful silk gowns, tailored silhouettes and intricate handcrafted beading. There were classic pieces with a contemporary edge.

Pictures from both runway shows can be viewed here