It’s day three of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) and Harper’s Bazaar Premium Runway 4, enchanted us with the opulence of some of Australia’s most prestigious designer brands. With the lights low and the music simmering, there was a moment of excited anticipation for the show to begin.

Alex Perry opened with compelling shades of deep tangerine and marigold yellow. The stage was set for evening glamour as the models filed down the runway in layered tea dresses of delicate sheers. Pronounced sleeves were a core feature of his collection, featuring dramatic floor length cape sleeves and billowing blouson sleeves cuffed at the wrist.

Carla Zampatti flipped the mood to present a collection of calming monochrome. The models were in luxe comfort as they stepped out in minimal studded slides. Fringing and raw, frayed edges were the key component that pulled this collection together. Fringing appeared in various lengths on the edges of dresses, skirts, coats and structured boucle suits.

Ginger & Smart made their mark on the runway by presenting the first offering of prints for the night. Their prints had an ever so subtle oriental influence. They also experimented with the use of metallics, raw, frayed elements and textured surfaces.

Martin Grant followed, bringing contrasting surfaces to the runway. Opening his moment with a floor length velvet gown, we were then dazzled by his metallic print story. Scattered between the striking metallics, were lustrous silks and matte taffetas, helping the silver and blue tones pop.

Yeojin Bae demands our attention with sharp silhouettes and bold colours. Her stunning draped sleeves fall effortlessly off the shoulder, adding a touch of femininity to her structured masterpieces. Two tone fabrics peek out from underneath. Lace, bows and frilled edging add to the feminine power dressing that Bae has become synonymous for.

Traditionally saving the best treat for last, in enters Dion Lee, opening his collection with a felted khaki cocoon coat. One after another, we were delighted with his tonal head-to-toe looks. First, an all white vision of deconstructed tailoring; next a taste of rich wine with his pleated cold-shoulder dress. It was clean, minimal and exhilarating to watch. His flowing drapery had us spellbound and his weighted merino coats left us longing for cooler weather. Just when we thought all was said and done, out came a sea of black powering down the runway in military form. Such a powerful way to end the show. It left Dion Lee imprinted permanently in our minds.

Photography by Stuart Chen