The best Aussie-born labels -
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The best Aussie-born labels

I’m not sure if it’s the beautiful weather or the laid-back Aussie mentality that boosts their creativity and their ability to create such polished but effortless clothes, but Australian fashion designers keep churning out some of the best fashion out there. London, Paris, Milan and New York are no longer the only heavyweights the fashion press keep their eye on; Melbourne and Sydney’s fashion weeks are now hot tickets, too, and it’s easy to see why. Here’s the low-down on some of the best Aussie-born labels…

Josh Goot

Josh Goot is something of a god of prints and colour, which doesn’t really come as a surprise given his sunny Sydney roots. The fashion editor of Australian Harper’s Bazaar once described Goot as “modernism’s new messiah”, so it’s only fair to expect good things from the 33 year-old. Since winning the Tiffany & Co Young Designer of the Year award in 2005, Goot has gone from strength to strength. There’s something about his mastery of prints that transform his contemporary lines into ‘wow’ pieces with a sporty yet elegant sensibility. AW14, however, saw Goot turn away from colourful statement pieces in order to embrace a more minimalistic approach to dressing; pared-back separates, mostly in black and white, dominated the collection, which was inspired by the dark realm of 17th Century Dutch vanitas paintings. 

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Dion Lee

Dion Lee is, without a doubt, one of Australia’s biggest names in fashion right now. Since his decision to show at London Fashion Week for the first time in February 2012, the young designer’s success has increased further, and his shows always leave the fashion press buzzing afterwards, such is Lee’s natural design nous. Known for his modern take on construction, and his relentless championing of sexy, body-con silhouettes, Lee makes clothes that, despite their often futuristic and conceptual nature, women actually want to (and love to) wear. If anything demonstrates Lee’s rising status in the fashion world, it is his move from London to New York to present his collections; for the last two seasons, his name has been on the bill at New York Fashion Week. His AW14 offerings were a critical hit, particularly the stunning, pastel-hued, silver-embroidered dresses that closed the catwalk show.

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Camilla & Marc

Some of the best Australian designers come in twos; for example, the hot Australian brand Zimmermann, whose fans include Kate Middleton and Miranda Kerr, is the brainchild of sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann. The slightly more under-the-radar label Camilla & Marc was founded by brother-sister duo Camilla Freeman Topper and Marc Freeman. They established their label, which is known for its elegant dresses, in 2003, and have been making waves ever since, with much of the buzz surrounding them spilling overseas. In a country awash with designers who put their clients in easy-breezy t-shirt dresses and sandals (well, it’s easily done, considering the Australian climate), Camilla & Marc are refreshing with their sophisticated, timelessly elegant design aesthetic; if you’re looking for masculine tailoring with a ladylike twist, or an immaculately-cut, beautifully-printed dress that clings in all the right places, this could well be your new favourite brand. 2012 brought about the pair’s diffusion line, C&M Camilla & Marc. Aimed at a younger and perhaps more laid-back clientele, C&M’s current collection comprises luxe track pants, sweatshirts, leggings and slouchy t-shirts. All bases covered, then.

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Written by Grace Howard.

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