Fri 28 May •
Couture Comes to Carriageworks
By Brittany Henderson
Afterpay Australia Fashion Week is right around the corner, and after a year of sweatpants, it’s not hard to see the appeal of mood-boosting, eye-catching clothes that celebrate getting dressed up.
We spoke to the designers who specialise in dialling up the drama after dark, as they prepped for their runway shows. Here’s a sneak peek into how they’re reimagining evening-wear for Resort ‘22.
Saudi Arabia-born, Sydney-based Yousef Akbar debuted his eponymous line during Fashion Week Australia in 2017. Fans of his floor-skimming dresses and fluid draping—which often feature dramatic cut-outs and daring slits —include Kelly Rowland and Chrissy Teigen. Exploring concepts of restrain and freedom via the “hues of Arabian deserts during sunset” for Resort ‘22, “the Yousef Akbar woman is strong confident, sexy and beautiful,” says the designer. “She doesn’t just want to wear clothes that look good, but clothes that connect with her values, have great craftsmanship and that are made ethically and sustainably.”
Known for luxurious fabrics, playful details and precision-cut tailoring, the Sydney-based designer will be presenting her Holiday collection, After Dark, at AAFW. The ‘80s-inspired pieces explore “the rebellious nature of fashion today—breaking the rules to create unique, eccentric styles,” says Vallance, who counts Hailey Bieber, Shay Mitchell and Jesinta Franklin as fans. Think: “strong, amplified silhouettes, bold blocks of colour and hyper-tactile textures finished with crystal detailing and exaggerated feather trims”.
The Melbourne-based designer refers to her line as Prêt-à-Couture, and it’s true that her pieces are both high-fashion and utterly wearable, taking in everything from sculptural jewellery to modern bridal, ready-to-wear and made-to-order eveningwear. “We offer the option to get [everything] custom-tailored so it fits like a glove,” she says. Having been worn by the likes of Iggy Azalea, Havana Brown and Shanina Shaik, Seddiq is known for voluminous silhouettes and hand embellishment on the runway.
Founded in 2006 after studying at the Accademia Italiana Arte Moda Design in Florence and a stint at Alexander McQueen, Daniel Avakian specialises in custom-made pieces for the red carpet and beyond. Resort ‘22 is set to be an evolution of the brand’s “signature handwriting in evening-wear through streamlined silhouettes that create flattering and effortless shapes for our clients,” says the designer. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey, the brand will be showcasing “sharp tailoring mixed with structural cutting, painted with a palette of block colours and bold prints.”