miss unkon says...

Kluster was first exposed to the inspired works of Brisbane’s Courtney Meyer, Creative Director, Miss Unkon, at last year’s Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. Needless to say we were suitably impressed. We’d missed her debut RAFW show, as part of the New Gen crop the previous year, but had heard the (loud) noise made about it in the days that followed, and we were glad the young designer lived up to our rather high expectations.

There is something incredibly raw about Meyer’s stylings. An innocence, complete with a sophisticated style, made unique by the apparent attention to detail featured in each collection’s strong lines: a meshing of structure and freeform, if you will.

Things appear to have been coming along nicely for the fledgling label and it’ director during the months since we last laid eyes on them so we figured it was about time we touched base. The email conversation that resulted is below.

Now, if only we’d been privy to a little more of the abandonment poured into her collections in the answers featured below... Regardless, the future looks bright.

Covered: international expansion, concept pop-up stores, collections like canvas and the beauty of imagination.

Kluster: We first laid eyes on your free-flowing designs at the 2010 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) show for your impressive SS10 collection, Love Is Like A Dreamland – A Journey of Young Love. Tell us a little about what’s been happening for Miss Unkon in the months since.
Courtney Meyer: So much has happened over the last year, which has been very exciting for Miss Unkon. We have expanded nationally and internationally with amazing new stores throughout the country.

We opened a Miss Unkon pop up concept space in Sydney’s Westfield City as well as launching the first Miss Unkon book which was published by Blurb and featured creative concepts, bloggers and illustrators.
K: And for the Kluster readers not currently aware of your designs, tell us a little bit about the birth and subsequent life of Miss Unkon. More...

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rafw: ksubi, royal hall of industries, moore park


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rafw: friedrich gray, cargo theatre

It's a bit disheartening when the main point of discussion outside a show centres on the fact that Ben Pollitt has (gasp!) added white to his SS1011 range. It all just seemed a little short sighted on the part of the overly vocal attendees. Still, we disregard so as not to limit our garment sight too much and move into the Cargo Theatre with open minds.

Pollitt main strength undoubtedly lies in his ability to take a time-honoured cut, tweak it in the most interesting of ways and make it his own. It creates a traditional appeal that embodies a uniqueness that is definably Friedrich Gray. This range is no exception. White blouses flow over the top of high-waisted black lambskin leather minis. Sheer black maxi dresses are layered over white ones. White lightning bolts snaked down the front of garments. An edgy sophistication unites this unisex range.


rafw: zimmermann, opt, sydney

Chrome neck pieces at Zimmermann's RAFW SS 10/11 show created a league of futuristic, delicately dressed women. The Vanishing Point saw models rocking cage dresses, overlapping prints and soft draping with dark stained lips and neutral makeup.

Bright tones of aqua and sherbet added a lightness to the collection. We loved the cropped layered tanks & high waisted swimwear with a corseted top were all about an understated kind of sexiness.

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fashion for everyone at frock stars

Not everyone in Sydney is media or industry enough to score an invite to Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. We’re sure there are plenty more who are not media or industry enough to care. For those who fall into the former category – and even some of those, like us, who will be in attendance at a range of shows at the OPT and beyond this week – there is Frock Stars.

The brainchild of both the Powerhouse Museum and the company behind RAFW, IMG Fashion Frock Stars gives visitors insight into Australia’s premier annual fashion event, in a behind-the-scenes kind of way. From the role of the designer, in this case Nicola Finetti to the show stylist, New Zealand born Kelvin Harries and the producer, Lara Inc.

There is a recreated, interactive backstage area completed with model-assigned racks. Guests can also wonder through and inspect Nicola Finetti’s onsite studio, complete with sketches and inspiration sources, or sit outside the studio and design their own mini garment. Complete with ready-to-snip fabric. We got lost in that particular activity for longer than we care to admit.

For the more curious/obsessed visitor, there is a strong representation of RAFW’s glitzy history. Like, did you know that Australian Fashion Week is only 10 years younger than London? Well, you do now.

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rafw: stolen girlfriends club, alexandria

Emerging from under a pseudo waterfall, the unisex range was more than enough to fill the large warehouse space. As was the amount of invited guests in attendance

Boys with backpacks the size of their torsos strolled down the long runway showcasing a collection of grungy, Columbine High-esque pant and shirt pairings. Think: our father Kurt had he lived long enough to see out the goth years.

The ladies that alternated adored their fair share of snakeskin, including one pair of high-waisted mini shorts we found particularly enthralling. That and the Out of Africa-esque pantsuit.

Tallulah Morton also gets our vote for working woman of the day.


rafw: bec & bridge, cargo theatre, opt, sydney

Models stomped out onto a smoke-filled runway. The metallic gold singlets, oversized billowing parkers and free-flowing maxis became lost in mist. Frustratingly so at first until the smoke cleared to reveal a collection subtly connected by gathering. intentional gathering of the fabric, that is. Our personal favourite item was the barely there white micro mini, featuring the aforementioned gathering. Subtle tribal undertones were accentuated by bonish necklaces and chunky bangles.

It seems like just yesterday we were watching Bec & Bridge parade their SS 0910 wares down and across the Cargo Theatre. Alas, time passes quickly. In reality, that was a year ago and a lot more than the chosen show formation has changed for the Sydney duo since then.

Including, we spied, a not-so-secret baby on the way.


ksubi's 'one via zero' to take over rafw

In celebration of their 10th anniversary and their first show in three years, Ksubi returns to  Rosemount Australian Fashion Week this May with their new collection One Via Zero. The off-site show, held at the Royal Hall of Industries and styled by the world renowned Brana Wolf, is the final on-schedule show for RAFW 2010.

With over two decades of experience in the fashion industry, Brana is one of Australia's most successful industry exports. Not only was she recognised as one of Forbes Magazine'seight most powerful fashion editors in America, she was the Editor-at-Large to Harper's Bazaar, contributing editor at Italian Vogue and currently acts as Chief Fashion Consultant to the Versace Women's Collection.

Ksubi is a brand synonymous with eccentricity and originality. Their fashion shows are notorious for going above and beyond the mere showing of clothing. From pushing models overboard into Sydney Harbour in 2003 to releasing hordes of rats at their 2001 debut, Ksubi has never had difficulty gaining the attention of a crowd.

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Michael Lo Sordo, OPT, Friday May 1st

Imagine the fictional girl who inspired this range: a dedicated career woman by day, and cocktail-sipping, poolside vixen by night. Of course, it would have been circa 1960. Bright one-tone fabrics featured throughout this collection. When patterned textiles were featured they were vivid, with an undeniable retro-ness to the designs – full skirts, tight bodices. The cuts were unashamedly bold with full dresses, frou frou collars and one particularly stunning white number, reminiscent of ‘that’ swan dress adorned by Bjork at the 2001 Oscars.      

Photos courtsey of Zimbio


The Cassette Society, Cargo Theatre, Friday May 1st

The Cassette Society’s Katie Boyd and Tania Rickards are not afraid of provoking a little controversy. Bra Boy, Koby Abberton, was seated in the front row of their femme-inspired collection showing of That Heroine’s Electric. The parade was also running more than an hour late. But, as they say, that’s fashion baby. When the clothes finally made it out onto the runway there was an eclectic mix of barely-there mini’s, in metallic black and black and white, tutu inspired black and white tulle gowns and swimwear: noteworthy swimwear.


Aurelio Costarella, Cargo Theatre, Thursday 29th May

Success on the runways at New York Fashion Week has kept Perth designer Aurelio Costarella from showing at RAFW for the last three years. The global financial crisis - or success on the runways at New York Fashion Week - brought him back to the OPT. Costarella’s newest range speaks of old work beauty, of intricate bodices on and floor-length gowns. This standing-room-only showing fused runway event with art exhibition. After the parade guests were invited to mingle and mull over the couture pieces, as adorned by models. Included in this group was Perth’s Courtney Chircop

Backstage at the showing.
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Kate Sylvester, OPT, Wednesday 29th April

Inspired by the romance of glamorous adventures from days long past. This collection features a unique take on pantaloons and trekking hats paired with bright yellow maxi dresses and thigh-high tights. It’s once-worn travel garb with a high level of fun and vibrancy. According to Sylvester the collection was inspired by women who went into the wilds of Africa and “hunted lions in their couture gowns”. Undoubtedly interesting inspiration but inspiration well captured none-the-less; it’s all over the range.

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