Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lover comes back

It’s been a long time in between Lover shows at RAFW. Five years to be precise. The Black Rose Army collection, shown in May 2006, was staged in a grungy, inner-city dive. Last night’s presentation of The White Serpent SS1112 collection demonstrates that this Sydney brand with a global cult following, which celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year, has most certainly come of age. A slick, ultra-sophisticated affair staged inside the Sydney Opera House, the collection was dazzling in its simplicity. Rendered in a three note palette of ivory, black and scarlet red, the collection flirted with masculine/feminine stereotypes: ivory tuxedos and jumpsuits with ultra wide-legs and mannish, oversized jackets were layered over sheer white blouses with pie-crust collars and lace inserts, then segued into a suite of killer lace dresses. Although the lace dress is a Lover signature, these sophisticated versions said not so much Woodstock free spirit as red carpet siren and they could give Collette Dinnigan a run for her money. 

Lover’s Susien Chong and Nic Briand evidently don’t think they’re dependent on RAFW to raise their profile. Early social media adopters, who created their first fashion film in 2003, the duo has been quietly building up a loyal fan base. But good to see them back on schedule, with the discipline of pulling together a 15-minute brand statement.

The staging, a little reminiscent of Givenchy’s and McQueen's in-the-round presentations, revolved around a central video split screen, onto which was projected images of the models. 

The stellar cast included Australia’s big new runway names Julia Nobis, Lauren Brown and newcomers Ruby Jean Wilson, Rose Smith and Melissa ‘MJ’ Johannsen, who have been carving up the international runway circuit - in Johannsen’s case without, ironically, having previously set foot on any Australian runway.

Anyone interested in reading more about  Australia’s new model army should pick up a copy of this Friday’s Wish magazine inside The Australian, which has a four-page feature. Here is a teaser

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