By: Michelle Darris
A middle-aged man sprang up from his seat and, digital camera in hand, weaved his way around the packed benches surrounding the runway. In search of a prime view, he plopped himself in front of two photographers who had already staked their spots. I was one of them. Having just exhibited her Frankie Swimwear collection for New York Fashion Week, Australian designer Rebecca Klondinsky raised her arms victoriously as the audience clapped loudly and the man’s camera happily clicked away. As she retreated backstage, the clicking stopped. The man turned and exclaimed: “That was my daughter!”
Slightly after 2:00, the Chelsea studio was packed with fans waiting for a runway show that was, fittingly, fashionably late. Fashion Palette’s Australian Swim Resort Spring/Summer 2017 Collection was an amalgam of nine designers and more than ten times that number watching from alongside the catwalk. Sabo Luxe kicked off the show by featuring silky champagne dresses and flowing ivory skirts. Sheer fabrics and high necklines were a constant in the collection – a refreshing marriage of laxity and elegance.
The show continued next with the designs of Bossa, an Australian label led by Creative Directors Charissa Trikos and Connie Dritsas. The collection featured beautiful bright hues of turquoise, lending it an aquatic feel. In one ensemble, a model with flowing auburn hair wore a glossy blue top with a pair of high-waisted beige shorts embellished with six nautical buttons, three per side.
Transitioning into beachwear, Ark Swimwear showcased its collection of flattering two-piece swimsuits. Models moved easily down the runway in minimalistic orange, white, grey, and olive bikinis. They were all styled with a simple, slicked bun and thin hoop earrings.
Following suit (and suits), Frankie Swimwear debuted a series of beautiful bikinis. The models, clothed in solid-colored two-pieces, donned colorful headscarves atop their loose waves. These chic 70s-style head accessories were reminiscent of a more carefree era.
The Sara Bailes collection followed Frankie Swimwear, showcasing relaxed garments paired with more structured elements. One model wore a loose-fitting dress and a bold, circular purse. The open-toed footwear throughout gave the collection an effortlessly chic feel.
Ete Swimwear featured models sporting baby-blue bikinis daintily embroidered with a complimentary shade of icy blue. The models’ wavy hair, paired with lace-up heels, evoked images of a breezy summer day spent by the ocean.
Lil and Emm were next, starring models in bright swimsuits. Models strutted down the runway in this fun swimwear, all wearing sandals donning colorful pompoms. The whimsical collection embodied the liveliness of summer.
Next came the Alphabe the Label collection, featuring an array of cocktail dresses with flared skirts. Models sashayed down the catwalk in creams and pastels, wearing thin, neutral-colored heels that gave these polished dresses an even more graceful feel.
Closing the show, Natalie Rolt’s innovative collection incorporated sleek silhouettes with celestial colors. Metallic accessories and heels with clear plastic wedges gave the ensembles a certain futuristic ambience.
After the show, I ran into Mr. Klondinsky and complimented his daughter’s designs. The only thing that glowed brighter than the models’ outfits was this father’s smile.