Your Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2023 Wrap-Up

From the cult brands you need to know to the latest in street-style trends, our David Jones’ buyers were on the ground to bring you our Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2023 wrap-up.


Rain, hail or shine, Sydney was officially in full swing this past week as Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) brought a dose of the warm-weather style we’ve been craving since the change of season kicked in. From the trends to have on your radar to the front row, our team was on the ground to cover the best of the week.

The versatility of a good trench is undeniable as seen on Mishti Rahman in Bec & Bridge.
Quiet luxury is always a good idea. Friend of David Jones Victoria Lee in Camilla And Marc & Maara Collective.
Quiet luxury is always a good idea. Friend of David Jones Victoria Lee in Camilla And Marc & Maara Collective.

On Show: The Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2023 Runway Highlights

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week was a flurry of style, trends and palpable sartorial celebration. Alémais opened the week with a masterclass on romanticism, with exaggerated silhouettes, technicolour prints, and garments designed for movement and ease.

Celebrating the brand’s 10th anniversary, Michael Lo Sordo followed suit with a daring collection, perfect for late-night soirées offset with a live orchestral soundscape. Bondi Born imparted an air of wanderlust with every sweeping resortwear piece beautifully presented on an alfresco harbour-side runway. Further enforcing the week’s energy, St Agni offered decisively-minimal tailoring paired with masterful tonal play and ‘90s silhouettes. 

With Tuesday came Bec + Bridge and their combination of timeless tailoring and contemporary hues—a failsafe formula for looking chic. Celebrating 15 years, Aje delivered a collection that distils the brand’s essence; floaty dresses and hand-painted florals, with model Gemma Ward opening the show. As always, Anna Quan served a delightful colour palette of refreshed seasonal staples. 

Midweek shows included the newest collection from Joslin, notorious for delivering romantic and feminine silhouettes. Held opposite Clovelly Ocean Pool, Joslin offered a masterclass in natural fabrications balanced against flattering silhouettes and intricate details. The Indigenous Fashion Runway Project, as expected, stole the show with an undeniably captivating showcase of Australian talent. 

Mishti Rahman puts her best foot forward with an outfit from Bec + Bridge.

A Moment for Country and Creativity: The Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway

Held on Gadigal Land and presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF), with support from David Jones, the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway on Wednesday night transported Carriageworks to the desert heart of Australia in an immersive, kaleidoscopic showcase. 

KAMARA Australia, head to toe.
KAMARA Australia shows us that with some bold prints and a red lip, you can command the room.

Indigenous Fashion Projects Manager, Michelle Maynard, says the Pathways Program is an incredibly exciting platform providing opportunities for First Nations designers to develop their labels, build capacity, and shape their identity and position in the industry. 

“The expression of First Nations culture and storytelling through the medium of fashion and textiles is rich and vibrant…while the program provides important opportunities for First Nations designers, its impact on the industry is just as remarkable.” 

“There’s such a great opportunity for the wider fashion industry to learn from Indigenous designers, our cultural ways of being and our relationship and responsibilities to Country. Our work is grounded in more than 60,000 years of heritage and our program provides a platform to engage in the sharing of it. Our industry partners learn as much as they share. It’s a collaboration in building cultural understanding and deepening relationships, understanding and experience.”

David Jones General Manager of Womenswear, Footwear and Accessories, Bridget Veals, reaffirmed the department store’s commitment to the program.

“Promoting cultural appreciation and uplifting Indigenous designers on a global stage is at the heart of what motivates us at David Jones.”

David Jones General Manager of Womenswear, Footwear and Accessories, Bridget Veals

The frill of it all: a key look from the Miimi & Jiinda collection.

Fashion Week Street Style To Inspire Your Look

A melting pot of personal style, the scenes outside the shows served as ample inspiration for what to wear right now. Across the week, tailoring in all its iterations shone brightly. Whether it was structured or perfectly slouchy, labels like Bec + Bridge as seen on Mishti Rahman lead the charge for effortless cool-weather layering and sharp outwear. Modern reimaginings of the classic little black dress made an appearance alongside bold detailing and shimmering accessories. Utilitarian cool emerged as a moment of note too with chunky boot pairings and platform sneakers serving up a style that worked effortlessly from day to night. Boots of all iterations, from cowboy to knee-high, were spotted across the week in a spectrum of shades, textures, and heel heights. For those suffering from an acute case of boot envy, we have the cure: The Boot Essentials We’re Investing In For 2023.

David Jones’ Public Relations Manager Brooke Shell looking effortlessly stylish in a Hunter Green Frankie Shop Ensemble.
There’s nothing more versatile than a black skirt, as seen on David Jones’ Buyers Danielle Santin & Natasha Halket styled with Nobody Denim, Bassike, Matteau, and Alias Mae.
Puffed sleeves, animal prints, and pops of colour were the unofficial uniform for the week. Many opted for loafers or flat boots for comfort when dashing between runways.
David Jones buyer Chiara wowed in a Bec + Bridge Laurel blazer and matching wide-leg pant.

Our one takeaway from this year’s street-style investigation? Shoulder bags and statement clutches aren’t going anywhere. This week, street styles wavered from luxe leather goods with minimal detailing, to bright, technicolour arm candy with a few sparkles for good measure. From mini shoulder bags to bold designer clutches, word on the street is that the best bags are small and mighty.

Chic, simple designer bags like this Balenciaga clutch were a must.

Sparkling arm-candy was spotted throughout the week, with this Alexander Wang bag catching our attention.
Timeless, effortless, elevated. A Gucci Handbag will always be a winner.
It’s all in the details with this Roame pant matched with an elegant bag in white.

AAFW Photography captured by Dylan Buckee and Liz Sunshine.