Your Afterpay Australian Fashion Week Wrap Up

We’ve rounded up the street style and the shows to know from the most exciting week in Australian fashion.

Maara Collective by Yuwaalaraay designer Julie Shaw.

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. Showing the Resort 2023 collections, the mood felt distinctively self-assured, with a line-up of homegrown labels garnering the attention of international press and buyers alike. From the trends to have on your radar to the front row, our team were on the ground to cover the best of the week.

Native Swimwear by Biripi and Ngarabal designer Natalie Cunningham.
Ngali by Wiradjuri designer Denni Francisco.

On show: the highlights

Having carved out a name for herself as a master of modern elegance, Bianca Spender opened AAFW with a fresh take on romanticism: think soft yet strong colour pairings and considered draping – the perfect uniform for golden hour soirées. Bondi Born followed suit, dialling the colour up with geometric prints and tonal silhouettes that exuded ease. Clearly, the energy of the week, an air of effortlessness continued to set the tone with the likes of Bec + Bridge offering up the kind of relaxed, cool-girl glamour that we’ll all want to wear next season. With Tuesday came St Agni and their combination of timeless tailoring and contemporary cuts – a failsafe formula for looking chic. Rounding out the week were three of our favourite names Aje, Esse and bassike. While decidedly different in the styles they sent down the runway (or in bassike’s case, on location at Hamilton Island), the message was clear, when Resort 2023 arrives, carry it with confidence.

“I think the most exciting thing has been seeing that lots of international buyers and press have also joined us in Sydney. For me, the standout shows so far have been the B’s: Bianca Spender, Bec + Bridge and Bondi Born with the colours that really bring Australian fashion to life.”

Bridget Veals, David Jones’ General Manager of Womenswear, on her highlights from Day 1 of AAFW

Kirrikin by Wonnarua designer Amanda Healy.

A moment for Country and creativity

Held on Gadigal Land and presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF), with support from David Jones, the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway transported Carriageworks to the desert heart of Australia in an immersive showcase. With collections from Kirrikin, Liandra Swim, Maara Collective, Native Swimwear and Ngali led by a lineup of celebrated First Nations models (think Samantha Harris, Nathan McGuire and friend of David Jones, Magnolia Maymuru), the show paid homage to the designers’ deep and personal connections to Country. Following on from their 2021 runway debut, the Pathways Program designers shone the spotlight on sustainable practice by way of community engagement through Indigenous artist collaborations and the innovative uses of materials. From the contemporary ease of Maara Collective and Liandra Swim to the vibrant pattern play as seen at Kirrikin, Ngali and Native Swimwear, the women behind each brand made their mark on the Resort 2023 season, with their designs closing out the show alongside a performance by Jessica Mauboy no less.

Liandra Swim by Yolngu designer Liandra Gaykamangu.

Friend of David Jones Eleanor Pendleton arriving at the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway in Maara Collective.

The street style set

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 bright. Whether it was structured or perfectly slouchy, labels like St Agni, Camilla And Marc and The Frankie Shop (as seen on Eleanor Pendleton) lead the charge. Utilitarian cool emerged as a moment of note too with khaki green and chunky boot pairings serving up style that worked effortlessly from day to night. Putting practicality aside, there is still a place for beloved brights, with names like Aje always bringing the vibe. Read on for the looks we’re coveting.

David Jones’ powerhouse PR team: Morgan Hill wearing St Agni, and Prue Webb in Scanlan Theodore.
David Jones’ General Manager of Womenswear Bridget Veals wearing Rohe, Camilla And Marc and Dior.
Friend of David Jones Victoria Lee in Camilla And Marc trench and dress.

Kate Waterhouse wearing Aje.
Deni Todorovič.

Friend of David Jones Cameron Stephens wearing Camilla And Marc.