From May 15 to 19, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) 2023 took center stage in Sydney, Australia. This year’s event featured a jam-packed schedule of 45 designer runway shows and presentations, showcasing the talents of established and emerging creatives. With a strong focus on sustainability, craftsmanship, and inclusivity, AAFW 2023 dazzled attendees with its captivating collections, thought-provoking discussions, and the return of several esteemed designers.
The Rise of Lesleigh Jermanus and Alémais
Lesleigh Jermanus, the creative force behind Alémais, set the tone for AAFW 2023 with her debut show. Alémais is a contemporary ready-to-wear label that embodies the principles of sustainability and craftsmanship. Jermanus’s collection captivated the audience, showcasing her talent for blending modern aesthetics with eco-conscious practices. Her debut signaled the event’s commitment to showcasing emerging talent and promoting ethical fashion.
Returning Favorites and Exciting Debuts
AAFW 2023 welcomed back familiar faces who had made a mark in previous years. Alix Higgins, who made his runway debut in the previous edition, returned to present his captivating collection on the final day of the week. Joining him were esteemed brands such as St. Agni, Albus Lumen, Bec + Bridge, Bondi Born, Anna Quan, and Wynn Hamlyn, all of whom showcased their latest creations, building upon their previous successes.
One notable comeback was that of Kathryn Forth and Julia Ritorto of Acler, who returned triumphantly after a five-year hiatus from AAFW. Their collection was a testament to their impeccable craftsmanship and distinctive design aesthetic. Additionally, Jeremy Hershan presented his unisex leisurewear label, Haulier, for the first time, while Ana Piteira of Blanca, Maggie Hewitt of Maggie Marilyn, and Elinor McInnes made their impressive debuts at Carriageworks, adding a fresh wave of creativity to the fashion week.
Celebrating Indigenous Designers
AAFW 2023 showcased the rich diversity of Australian fashion by highlighting Indigenous designers. Throughout the May schedule, twelve designers of Indigenous heritage took the spotlight. Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway, hosted by David Jones, featured labels like Ngali, Liandra Swim, Kamara, Gammin Threads, and Lazy Girl Lingerie, among others. The closing night show celebrated the designs of Maara Collective, further emphasizing the importance of indigenous representation and empowerment within the fashion industry.
Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2023 exceeded expectations with its vibrant displays of creativity, commitment to sustainability, and celebration of diversity. From Lesleigh Jermanus’s stunning debut to the return of established brands and the introduction of exciting newcomers, the event showcased the immense talent and vision of the Australian fashion industry. By promoting sustainable practices and providing a platform for emerging and underrepresented designers, AAFW 2023 reaffirmed its position as a global leader in the fashion world, inspiring future generations of creatives and pushing the boundaries of style and inclusivity.