After two years of on-again, off-again action, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) can officially say that it's back, baby.
While there are aspects of this week that will always tickle our fancy and get people talking (like the glorious street style), we like to come to the week of all Australian fashion weeks with open minds and curious eyes.
Running from May 9 – 13, there are many firsts for this year's AAFW — the first adaptive fashion runway, the first metaverse fashion show and the first curve runway, to name a few.
But it's not just these big firsts that people are excited about. Ahead, these are the talking points and events that have been getting people talking, on, off and around the runways.
1. Fashion Week Kicked Off With A Welcome To Country
After last year's landmark (and overdue) showcase of Indigenous excellence, AAFW has made a conscious effort to continue to celebrate First Nations designers.
Opening with a Welcome To Country produced by First Nations Fashion + Design, audience members were able to experience the ancient practice of a smoking ceremony, which was followed by a performance with several Indigenous dancers.
2. Showgoers Saw Australia's First Ever Metaverse Show
The three-minute digital showcase featured eight virtual avatar models in a fantasy world. Interestingly enough, the pieces are not only available to buy as an NFT, but also as made-to-order physical pieces.
3. Bec + Bridge Celebrated 21 Years
Australian label Bec + Bridge celebrated 21 years by closing Day 1 of Australian Fashion Week with its much-anticipated show. The anniversary collection married silhouettes from the Bec + Bridge archives with nostalgic throwbacks from the brand’s late ‘90s roots.
In a tribute to that era and the fashion that shaped the youth of designers of Bec Cooper and Bridget Yorston, low-slung skirts, silk barrettes and oversized blazers were key, embellished with sequins, beading and mesh detailing.
4. The Brands Who Got Casting Right
When it comes to showcasing true diversity on the runway, Australian Fashion Week has notoriously fallen short. After increasing demand for more inclusive casting — which notably came to a head last year when a number of high profile show-goers, including Kate Wasley, spoke out about the lack of representation — we were eager to see who stepped up this year.
Gary Begini, Bondi Born and Erik Yvon got it right. All three shows presented a refreshing lineup representative of the real life women who wear and want to wear these brands. More of this please!