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PHOTO: ZAK KACZMAREK/GETTY IMAGES.
Emilia Wickstead
The Emilia Wickstead x MatchesFashion.com presentation felt more like a background scene cut from Purple Noon than a presentation between a designer and e-commerce retailer. Set to dreamy jazz, its stage, the Wylie Baths at Coogee beach, brought the capsule’s most prominent motifs to life: ruffled florals, swimwear that’s as functional as it is trendy, and even some maxi dresses for when you need to go straight from the sand to the dance floor.
Lee Mathews
It’s pretty hard to get gingham right. But Lee Mathews did that and more for resort 2019. The designer is known for creating clothes with ease, so it made sense that her latest collection stroll down a runway of grass (and include a pair of overalls that you can practically live in). Add in a few contrasting florals and a crisp blazer for work — or play — and Mathews may just be your one-stop destination for summer.
Double Rainbouu
Legend has it around Sydney that the boys of Double Rainbouu know how to throw a party. It made sense, then, that designers Toby Jones and Mikey Nolan held their latest show at the Lansdowne Hotel, one of the city’s few late-and-great landmark bars. Down the runway the models ran, showcasing the latest variations of their signatures — printed, oversized knits, graphic swimwear, and Hawaiian shirts; after the show, an open bar and pizza was for the taking. Now that’s how you do it.
Akira
You could attribute most of Akira’s resort 2019 collection to trends a lot of designers have pulled from as of recent — Marc Jacobs and ’90s glam-grunge (rose skirts in tulle atop pairs of combat boots), the Off-White effect (lofty phrases in Arial-looking typeface on belts and straps), and those Comme des Garçons suits (contrasts of florals and plaid, add in masculine ruffles). But there’s still something unique about Akira that makes you want to hold out for more.
Still Still Studio
Similar to something like the Antwerp Six, the four designers behind Still Still Studio all met at the University of the Arts London. It may be their attention to detail that’s gotten them as far as Sydney, but it’s their ability to call upon fashion’s funnest eras — a blend of the roaring ’20s, the swinging ’60s, and a dash of the ’80s — to make things things like sequins and feathers feel new again. For resort 2019, at least, the Holly Golightly vibes were as intense as the light ricocheting off those rainbow handbags.
P.E. Nation
We dare you to try not to fall in love with Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning. The bubbly duo behind P.E. Nation are good brand ambassadors for their athleisure-meets-activewear line that, during resort 2019, saw the debut of their men’s label. At a time when high-end brands are testing out the athletic-wear market with one-off’s and collaborations and those street labels whose DNA has always been fashion and fitness are trying to keep up, Edwards and Tregoning’s interpretation of how to usher a no-fuss (read: ultra cool), Instagrammable brand into the mix not only shows their growth as a design duo, but will serve as their roadmap to global success.
Acler
Layering can be tricky, especially when you live in New York where the weather operates in extremes — but in Sydney, a brand like Acler can thrive. Long-sleeve dresses sewn onto turtlenecks next to strapless, jellyfish-like day gowns, and even a few pieces appropriate for the office, defined their latest offering. With that many options, the styling opportunities are endless.
Romance Was Born
Romance Was Born is fashion for thespians, and we’re not talking about costumes. At their resort 2019 show, which featured a Judy Garland impersonator who sang live better than the late dame herself (you can fight me on that), design partners Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett took showgoers on a trip to the moon. But really, the design chops of these two are out of this world; their clothes being both for the stage and real life.

On tap for summer: lace overlays on sweeping silk gowns in fuchsia and deep blue, mosaic prints on flapper-like shift dresses, sequined chiffon getups worthy of the red carpet, high-fashion party accessories, and more. See? Camp. The show also fêted the release of their first book, Romance Was Born: A Love Story With Fashion, which chronicles their more than 10-year, rainbow-colored history.

Blair Archibald
Like a potent decongestant, newcomer and Woolmark prize winner Blair Archibald cleared the air of MBFWA. The designer may only be a few seasons in — and, on some looks at his resort 2019, it showed — but he demonstrated promise in the Australian market. We may be used to military-style bombers and Japanese workwear, but Archibald’s clothes have more selling potential than most.
We Are Kindred
Sure, the whole “florals for spring” bit will always be pretty funny, but at We are Kindred’s latest show, no one was laughing. There’s something harmless about a floor-length floral dress paired with a larger-than-life straw hat, and well, a smile. It just works. The sibling design duo is locally known for this type of thing, but it’s their resort 2019 collection that just may bring them stateside.
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