Fashion / Fashion News

Here’s your backstage pass to all the shows at AFW

It's hard not to let each day sink past in a dizzying haze. Time has become a flat circle during this week at Carriageworks, and we're still reeling after every show to collect ourselves properly. Sometimes you only see half of what's going on. When the lights descend and the music starts to play, a world of extensive organisation has already happened, obscured and out of view. This is certainly the case at Australian Fashion Week, where designers, make up artists, and stylists are operating with surgical precision behind the scenes. To give you a taster of the village that puts on a show, we've put together this one-stop deck of all the aerodynamics that takes place before a single sole hits the runway. Scroll on for our all-inclusive taste of Australian Fashion Week's finest, behind the scenes.

Next Gen

The energy was thrumming at Next Gen. Previewing a panel-selected collection of 4 breakout designers, the sense of anticipation was mounting by the second. Behind the curtain, models readied themselves in the first look, an adorable confection of rosy pastels and checkered prints from House of Campbell.

The piece de resistance has to be the little drummer boy hats. We cannot get enough.


The perfect accents in Emily Watson's custom, neoprene fabric. Jenny Humphrey-inspired. We are fanning ourselves every time a look hits the runway.

Some final touch-ups before the crescendo at 10am.


House of Campbell meets Potirakis. The clashing of two dual worlds.


Rory William Doherty


Pandemonium ensues. There's brogues on the floor, models hastily shucking on perfectly tailored waistcoats and suit-lapelled pieces adorned with the perfect pop of silver. At the centre of it all, Rory William Doherty working like live trip-wire adjusting everything, everywhere, all at once. Hats off to the designer. We salute thee.


When we catch him for a little chat backstage, he offers a glimmering respite for what's next on the horizon for the label -- "lots and lots of champagne."


Alix Higgins

The devilish clash with the artfully bright. Alix Higgins is an explosion of everything we love to see, lore included. Neoprene and spandex also make robust reappearances this collection, aptly titled 'i forgive you god'.


Models making their marks in the hydro-fluro unofficial uniform of Alix Higgins. There's also a gossamer translucent finish to most garments. Models wait before hitting their mark to prepare to strut barefoot - a bold choice. It is known: Alix Higgins makes a mean polo.

Karla Spetic


At Karla Spetic, we were treated to a symphony of muted pastels and florals. The styling was sleek and pared back, with hair brushed into a single plait or razed into sleek layers. To offset the frill, a touch of grunge on the eyes. Geometric crisscrossing on the back details offers a contrast to the feminine silhouettes.


Models banded across the back wall as they posed for last-minute shots and stilled their postures (and racing hearts) for garment adjustments. There's a lot of steaming and make-up brushes. We are all aboard this lace sheer moment. A hot tip from one of the talent on surviving the week's onslaught? "A nice, good, long sleep."



We are loving the dark lilacs and royal blues at Verner. Backstage, models fluctuate between waiting patiently and practising for any off-kilter portraits behind the curtain. Ready for a swim or a jaunt in the park? That's all Verner.

Pops of teal, fuchsia and mint infuse the collection with the nostalgic punchiness we've been craving. The athleisure meets slouchy polo is a perfect midday, on-errands look that's hot off the runway, onto the rack.



Was there a backstage entry pass more desirable and elusive than Speed? We don't think so. At 4:30, we descended into the emptied SEA LIFE aquarium. We received green wristbands and wended our way downwards amidst other clientele: jellyfish, underwater geraniums, penguin exhibitions and more. When we finally reached the encampment, models, stylists, and photographers clamoured in a tightly packed backstage which normally would have only seen chum being refilled in buckets.


The cast of Speed was comprised of entirely new faces. Alvi Chung, the director, along with Lynn Mathuthu on casting were deliberate in making this decision. The show's take on regeneration was not lost on the audience, who would later be standing ram-rod against the SEA LIFE's walls while models strutted through a clear pathway where tiger sharks swam above. The couture was also ocean-remniscient, with pops of metallic and inner conch-iridescence on the eyes and the fabrics. The energy was palpable. The show, even better.


All is A Gentle Spring

If Little Bo Peep were to be found, she'd be behind the veil at All is A Gentle Spring.

Sheer garments adorably rucked with sweetheart necklines adorned many a model. The clothing ranged from cream coloured to light, weightless greys.


The hair has to be the crowning glory: 60s style pin-curls are piled onto the head of each talent and fastened in place with bobby clips. Think Shirley Temple. Think Betty Draper. Paired with taffeta skirts in dark satin and the high-neck signature of the label, models were the height of grace.

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