Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alex Perry's Cuban revolution - LMFF 2011

Could Alex Perry have started something with his Spring/Summer 2011/2012 collection unveiling last night at the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival? A consumer event showcasing in-season collections to consumers, LMFF is popular with designers because its runways present what is in store right now - with some retailers reporting 30-50percent spikes in business during the event. But a wholesale collection that is traditionally shown to buyers and press six months ahead of the season? That's usually the territory of Australian Fashion Week. In reality, Perry showed 'first summer' last night - that is, the first half of next summer's offerings. He still plans to show at RAFW in May. Perry will show 'second summer' at that event - and according to his wingman, Josh Flinn, the second collection will be a lot more elaborate. With the fashion cycle continuing to accelerate, retailers offering far more frequent product drops than ever before and the rise and rise of Resort and Pre-Fall collections internationally, perhaps it makes sense for designers to gain additional exposure via consumer events such as this, at the same time providing some real news value for the fashion media. 

And what a show it was. 

En route to the venue - the magnificent Victoria era Royal Exhibition Building - it felt a little like you were making your way to a big Paris show at the Grand Palais.

Entitled Cuban Princess, the well-edited collection took Perry into somewhat unchartered waters - and he told frockwriter backstage that this fact had made him a little nervous. 

"I've never done colour before - or at least not so much of it" noted Perry. 

Eye-popping turquoise, kingfisher blue, buttercup yellow, magenta, chartreuse and tangerine were deployed in an elegant series of minimalist evening gowns, many of them with sporty, racerfront necklines and simple fitted waists, others softly falling from the bust, Empire style, with embroidered straps curling delicately like tendrils over one shoulder. 

The evening glamour sequence complemented the collection's smart daywear of '40s-nosed, crisp white suits, sheath dresses in a pretty black and red floral print and some fresh-as-a-daisy white sundresses crafted from heavily-embellished lace.

A great cast that included the week's top girls, Rachels Rutt and Grasso, Cassi van den Dungen, Simone Kerr, Annika Kaban, Tiah Eckhardt and Vanessa Milde, with some special additions in the form of Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 6 winner Amanda Ware, Eliza Humble and of course, the star of the show, Megan Gale. 

Click (here) to see frockwriter's Posterous portfolio of 50 images shot backstage during the show.  


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