Fashion / Fashion News

AFW 2024 highlights: All the best moments from the week

The biggest week in Australian fashion is here, once again taking over the halls of Carriageworks. And once again, the RUSSH team is in attendance, ready to keep you updated on all the most important shows, looks and moments from Australian Fashion Week 2024.

We'll be taking you to Rory William Docherty's AFW debut show, one of the week's brightest new starts to be taking to the runway. We'll also be giving you an insight into All Is A Gentle Spring's no-phones show, which promises to create plenty of buzz and discourse.

Of course, we'll be sending field notes from the week's opening show – Albus Lumen – and from its closing runway with Pandora. And in between, there will be plenty to pique our interest this week between show highlights and, of course, street style daily.

For all the AFW 2024 highlights, read on...

 

Monday 13 May – Day one

 

Albus Lumen

Time: 10am

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

Australian resort wear brand Albus Lumen have kicked off Monday morning – and AFW at large – with their show, encompassing both womenswear and menswear for the first time. Voluminous, diaphanous garments, embellished with pearls and glittering fabrics, were tempered with more industrious denim looks – taking cues from the trompe-l'œil double waistband look that was featured on runways for both Loewe and Margiela. A real bone of feminine silhouettes and oversized cuts, the brand leaned into their more bohemian side, models walking in varying shades of louche undress, and where metallic slipper covers weren't donned, looks were grounded by bare feet.

 

Next Gen

Time: 11am

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Recognising the new guard of Australian designers, the Next Gen show featured the collections of the four winning designers of AFW's 2024 Next Gen program: Amy Lawrance, Emily Watson, House of Campbell and Potirakis. Each designer felt distinct and grounded in their own lore – from Lawrence's paper doll-like collection to Watson's Gossip Girl-inspired collection (of course, referencing our favourite Little J). House of Campbell's collection was sweetly feminine, featuring trenches and pink pussy-bow blouses. While Potirakis closed out the show with their darkly debut, a "crime-themed" collection, featuring a plethora of balaclavas, tactical gear and harnessing. You can also watch our Next Gen backstage interviews on the RUSSH Instagram.

 

Viktoria & Woods

Time: 1pm

Location: Campbell's Cove, The Rocks

Viktoria & Woods showcased their Resort 25 collection at the Cove in Sydney's Rocks in the early afternoon, working together with makeup artist Isabella Schimid and beauty by Elizabeth Arden. Embracing skin as the focal point was key to the show's looks, which featured pastel jewel-tones and plenty of silks. Emma Balfour kicked off the show, leading a runway in muted tones punctuated by vibrant bursts of colour: soft green, yellow, and a finale of fiery red. The collection exuded femininity and wearability. But it wasn't just the clothes that stole the show; the accessories were statements in themselves. Leather socks added a touch of edge, while fringed clutches transformed each look, injecting personality.

 

Rory William Docherty

Time: 3pm

Location: Gallery Two, Carriageworks

New Zealand's Rory William Docherty made his AFW debut later in the afternoon to a full and anticipatory crowd. The presentation was pared back – a simple white wall, no props and only the beat of the music as a sonic set (a synth and bass-filled soundtrack inclusive of Depeche Mode's All I Ever Wanted and Fontaines D.C.'s I Love You). Garment-wise, crunchy metallic pieces were complimented by pared-back, tailored essentials like trenches, oxford shirts and brown leather brogues. Pattern was used at-large, whether childishly paint-splattered or a more sophisticated monochromatic floral motif.

 

 

Tuesday 14 May – Day two

 

P.E Nation

Time: 10am

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

Pip Edwards' lifestyle brand P.E Nation woke us up on Tuesday morning, models parading down the gallery's runway between metallic silver plinths to the beat of a pounding bass line. Layering was inherent in the styling, which featured signature knits and fleeces tied and bound over classic athletic-wear like leggings and sports bras. Palettes were kept pastel, with the collection moving through a series of muted hues from nudes to moss greens to ballet pinks and sky blues.

 

Liandra

Time: 11am

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Indigenous swimwear designer Liandra made her solo AFW debut in Gallery Three this morning; a collection that was full of vibrant patterns and jewel-toned resortwear. Notes left on seats let guests know that the show would begin with a songline about guku (the native honeybee) in her native Yolngu language; a call to reflect upon the importance of the honeybee through the collection. Monochromes were left at the door for this show, instead whimsical prints and bold hues took centre stage.

 

Emma Mulholland On Holiday

Time: 3pm

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Emma Mulholland On Holiday showed for the first time at AFW in the afternoon, setting the tone for their resort-worthy collection with the sound of crashing waves, sandcastles and sunbathing models on the runway. Mulholland tells us backstage that the collection is "mermaid-inspired" and beauty certainly adhered to the shimmery, ethereal theme. The collection also felt thematic – leaning into the bubble skirts trend and diaphanous dresses, silky ballet flats and models dripping in glass and molten Jean Riley jewellery.

 

Acler

Time: 7pm

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

Acler brought the drama in the evening, showing their Resort 25 collection to a full house in Gallery One. Clean lines and distinctly feminine silhouettes were technically exquisite – using draping and sewing techniques to give garments more tactile, sculptural qualities. Sunset hues dominated the palette, complimented by gold lamé boots and mules, contrast-stitch denim sets, and chunky amorphous gold jewellery. Models zig-zagged through a maze of walls on the runway, half-moon bags were tucked under arms, guests catching glimpses of each look through the folds.

 

Wednesday 14 May – Day three

 

Alix Higgins

Time: 7pm

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

The excitement was palpable for Alix Higgins' morning show, which kicked things of at Carriageworks with a bang. Higgins' signature graphics were back in full force, but switching out his usual fairytale prose for a more provocative tone. The jersey tee was also central to the collection, cut and flipped and reversed into a myriad of garments from skirts to aprons to dresses. The collection, aptly titled i forgive you god was a breath of fresh air. Alix aways and distinctively his own self.

 

Third Form

Time: 11am

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Third Form made their AFW debut in Gallery Three, lending their contemporary feminine lens to a collection of refined and elevated wardrobe essentials. The set was minimal, the garments pared-back – slinky strappy heels mingling with cut-out dresses and sequinned slips. Ox blood trenches and sheer capris were some of our highlights from the runway collection.

 

Anna Quan

Time: 6pm

Location: Gallery Two, Carriageworks

The fuschia pink carpet was rolled out for Anna Quan's show in Gallery Two this afternoon, a collection that felt self-referential, pulling from archival silhouettes from the designer's past, giving a sense of nostalgia to an otherwise contemporary and sophisticated showing. The runway's club-inspired soundtrack was buoyed by its palette – a complimentary slew of canary yellows, chromatic silvers, dark-wash denims and beachy stripes.

 

Romance Was Born

Time: 7pm

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

A true highlight of the week so far was Romance Was Born in the evening – an intergalactic affair complete with enormous inflatable moons down the centre of the runway. As the room began to be pumped full of low-lying smoke, a distinctly otherworldly soundtrack marked the show's opening. Garments were intricate, sculptural and psychedelic; a collaboration with Indigenous artist Zaachariaha Fielding the basis for much of this collection's artistic direction.

 

Nicol & Ford

Time: 8pm

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Bodies were draped, bound and tied at the Nicol & Ford show at the end of Day 3 – a strange and beautiful way to close out our day. Animal print dresses were held up by chains, and sheer trenches layered over elbow-length black gloves. Beauty felt more severe and provocative – lacquered hair and constricted ponytails met with vibrant red lips and rosy pink cheeks. Perhaps the collection's standout was its dress made entirely from interlinked, shucked oyster shells, which blurred lines between garment and sculpture.

 

Thursday 15 May – Day four

 

VERNER

Time: 11am

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Melbourne-born fashion brand VERNER, opened Day Four of AFW at Carriageworks with its fuchsia-carpeted Resort 25 collection Blue Heaven. Through kitsch decor and mixing silhouettes across surf-wear, swimwear and evening wear, the collection pays homage to golden Australian summers by the sea. The collection also featured three customised ugg boots and slippers made in collaboration with EVERAU and Ugg Express.

 

BLANCA

Time: 1pm

Location: Vaucluse House

BLANCA's offsite show was an alfresco affair at the heritage Vaucluse House estate. Gravel paths became runways underfoot of models, dressed in textural layers of sequins, lace and leather. Snakeskin ankle boots were interchanged with a myriad of Mary-Janes and ballet flats, but otherwise accessories were kept minimal, and beauty was windswept and wispy. Aptly titled Jardin, the Resort 25 collection was ripe with colour, nostalgia and tactility, seamlessly able to transition from vocation to vacation with ease.

 

SPEED

Time: 6pm

Location: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SPEED took guests (strictly 50 at a time) on a journey at the Sydney Aquarium, where its runway show was presented in the aquarium's Shark Tunnel. Garments shimmered under the reflective nature of the deep blue water above, and played to the otherworldly nature of their setting – a befitting locale for a collection centred on ideas of regeneration. Beauty was luminescent, with an almost-pearly finish redolent of iridescent oyster shells, while hair was braided with glimmering jewels.

 

David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway

Time: 7pm

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

Five Indigenous-led labels – JOSEPH & JAMES, GALI Swimwear Ihraa Swim, Lazy Girl Lingerie and Miimi & Jiinda – made their AFW debut in Gallery One in the evening, a presentation opened with a traditional smoking ceremony and closed with a dance performance. Each brand presented their own distinct and authentic vision – from print-forward swimwear and art-wrapped silk dresses, to preppy wardrobe essentials and 70s-inspired lingerie. The runway event is part of David Jones' two-year fashion program in partnership with the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) Foundation, which fosters and mentors emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designer.

 

Iordanes Spyridon Gogos

Time: 8pm

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Jordan Gogos' Resort 25 collection played out across a runway paved with a patchwork of psychedelic carpets in Gallery Three. His fourth show at AFW, Gogos' collection was at once a continuation and an evolution of his authentic aesthetic – still playing into the elements of the intricate and handmade, but this time finding inspiration underfoot in rugs and carpets. Of course, there were still plenty of queer and pop culture references – from the Real Housewives of Sydney in attendance, to a bass-heavy remix of I Need a Hero on the soundtrack.

 

Friday 16 May – Day five

 

IINJURY

Time: 10am

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

INJURY's Resort 25 collection titled 55555 was a dark, fantastical and techno-driven dreamscape that featured custom pieces by artist Caroline Zimbalist. For its third AFW show, INJURY continued to be a petri dish of gothic sensibilities, East Asian silhouettes and rave attire to create a show completely and uniquely their own. We were also lucky enough to have one of the brand's designers, Dan Tse, talk RUSSH through her AFW essentials.

 

Wackie Ju

 

Time: 2pm

Location: Gallery Two, Carriageworks

Wackie Ju brought fashion to the THEATRE with its enthralling runway show on Friday called Saviour. The brand had already left a considerable impression with their debut last year, but their afternoon show was certainly one of the week's most memorable. The show's closing look, worn by model Rowena Xi Kang, featured a shearling wrap that was ripped and wrested from her by a crew of suited figures who emerged from the crowd of onlookers to reveal a red and white evening gown.

 

all is a gentle spring

Time: 3pm

Location: Gallery Three, Carriageworks

Making its sophomore appearance at AFW, all is a gentle spring presented an elegantly pared-back presentation that was a deliberate shift away from spectacle. In keeping with this, the show was strictly phone-free, and set against a minimal backdrop and soundtrack. The collection took their famed silhouettes – boned bustiers and silk blouses – and reinterpreted them in softer, subdued tones of black, cream and charcoal. Trousers and skirts clung low to the hips, and the brand's first accessories line – featuring charm-laden leather belts created with Sydney jeweller Phoebe Cutler – were their necessary companions. Footwear leaned into the feminine, with models donning Hanami ballet slippers from Capezio Australia, the theatrical shoemaker established in Italy in 1971.

 

Pandora

Time: 8pm

Location: Gallery One, Carriageworks

Pandora closed out the week with their runway show, transforming Gallery One into a sultry boudoir complete with pink carpet and theatrical curtains. Perhaps AFW's most democratic front row, more than 640 people sat runway-side, close enough to see the Pandora’s Moments charms and Pandora Lab-Grown Diamonds adorning models' necks, ears, fingers and wrists. Otherwise, models were dressed in bespoke Michael Lo Sordo garments, styled by Jess Pecoraro.

 

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All images courtesy of Getty Images via AFW.