Fashion’s grey area


It appears that once again, the trend for fur coats and crocodile-skin handbags in back – and unfortunately, the way in which they are obtained is still a grey area in the fashion industry.



Photo: Static


The fashion world has long been in limbo in regards to the production of animal-skin items, with the issue going in and out of focus for many years. Activists petition it, fashion designers tip-toe around it and the rest of the world fumbles about, buying the coats or supporting the petitions (sometimes even both), not really knowing what to do.


National Geographic recently featured an article showcasing what happens behind the scenes of a fur coat: capturing animals, confining them in cages – before killing them and manufacturing their skin for fashion. But more needs to be done for the industry, with tighter laws and humane guidelines sitting at the top of the list.




Photo: Peta 

So where to now? Is it a question of personal morals, national legislation or does more need to be done by those at the forefront of the fashion community? The United Kingdom, Croatia and Austria have already implemented bans on fur farming, and the Netherlands are working to follow.


However, this still leaves the issue of fur and animal skin items being purchased and worn across the globe.


The standards of national guidelines have improved dramatically since fur first came in to fashion, and many would argue it is no different to the farming of animals for food – making the debate a particular tricky one. Perhaps it needs to come down to this then: the standards, the humanity and the care that is taken leading up to production.


Humans have always, and will always use animals for both food and fashion, but if we can change the attitudes of those in the business – and those who buy – to incorporate animal welfare, then it’s a start.


By Alanah Frost 


Think over-the-top evening gowns, shimmering sequins, elegant silk and divine romance – Toni Maticevski’s impeccable exhibition Dark Wonderland has it all.

A literal dark wonderland, the Maticevski exhibition on display at Bendigo’s Art Gallery is an absolute must.

The exhibition – which includes a range of Maticevski’s early work to his most recent creations – begins with a selection of Maticevski’s best and is curated in such a captivating manner it is impossible not to be amazed as dress after dress fills each room.

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First, an elegant arrangement of delicate whites and striking silvers and greys; gowns of structure and style for celebrities and runways alike. Followed by resort wear, where colour meets digitally printed polyester, power-mesh and glass beading to define a uniquely desirable world of its own.

Next, a stand-out cascading gown comprising of silk voile, silk organza and viscose sculptures its mannequin. An attached overlaying swing-top protrudes from the neck, fanned and structured by tule and beautifully embroided with flowers. The rightfully-named Monaco Gown, as worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark for the 80th birthday celebrations of her father-in-law, and Jessica Mauboy’s gold and silver interwoven dress, designed for her 2014 Eurovision performance are also among favourites on display.

A feature included was used to showcase a more playful interpretation of Maticevski’s creations: costume design. Contemporary ensembles worn by the likes of the Australian Ballet, Phillip Adams’ BalletLab (in collaboration with milliner Richard Nylon) and the Sydney Dance Company are displayed – black leotards with sheer panels; draping skirts and adorning feathers.

Also on show are a collection of original sketches and design notes from the diaries and notepads of Maticevski himself, showing the incredible amount of effort each design requires.

The latest 2017 resort collection boasts fabric detail and natural fibres, quirky tech-elements and a variety of materials (including nylon, silk, elastane and polyester). Maticevski brings focus to experimentation, sculpture, body forms and silhouettes.

A fabric artist to say the least, Maticevski has compiled some of Australia’s best designs and continues to impress with his eye for detail and modern vision for timeless yet time-conscious fashion. His designs continue to gain recognition on a global scale, and the Dark Wonderland is but just a minuet insight in to the influence of Toni Maticevski’s unquestionable brilliance.


By Alanah Frost


  1. RECYCLE BOUTIQUE – Whist visiting this upmarket second-hand shop you’re sure to find a pot of gold, especially when least expecting it. Recycle Boutique has an extensive range of all things designer, but at a bargain price. Racks upon racks line the walls, categorised and colour coordinated for your benefit. From mini-skirts to denim jackets, Cue to Tommy Hilfiger – and every type of shoe imaginable, it’s well worth the trip for your next outfit. They stock both men’s and women clothes and, you can even set up an account to recycle your own wardrobe (and receive half the profit!).

Find them at Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC 3056


  1. PENNY LANE – This gorgeous little boutique boasts elegance at an affordable price. Pick up pre-loved high-end pieces or stylish new arrivals to suit every taste. With cute knits, silk shirts and cocktail dresses you won’t be disappointed. They can be a little pricey, but well worth your pennies (no pun intended) – and to top it off tag them in a photo on instagram of you wearing your purchase and you’ll receive 10% off your next one. A must-visit!

Find them at 145 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC 3056

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Photo: Penny Lane

  1. FINKI – If the mention of independent designers isn’t enough to grab your attention, then the unique and funky designs on display surely will be. Finki’s hand-made and individual designs are sourced from a number of independent Australian designers and showcase fabrics of every kind. They also have hand-crafted accessories including purses, handbags and jewelry to add to your look. Did I mention they’re all independent?

> Find them at 159 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC 3056

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Photo: Finki

  1. VICIOUS VENUS – For all those retro rockabilly lovers, the dolled-up racks of Vicious Venus will have you in an instant. Hand-crafted in Australia or exclusively imported from the States, the frocks and polka-dots are endless. There’s a range of dancing shoes to complete every outfit too. Whether it be for that next event or personal every-day style, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

> Find them at 155 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC 3056

  1. DUCHESS BOUTIQUE – If you’re after something a little more fancy, perhaps for a university ball, a twenty-first or cocktails with friends, then Duchess Boutique has you covered. Their elegant gowns and shimmery cocktail dresses will have you instantly in love and, although pricey, for the right gown it can be justified.

Find them at 521 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC 3056

By Alanah Frost

The timeless influence of Z I M M E R M A N N


The definition of Australian style has varied over time: it’s been elegant, chic, classy and stylish, full of colour, monochrome, long and then short (and then long again); but one thing ceases to change – the quality and unique designs that are unquestionably Australian made.

Embodying this spirit is the timeless designs of talented sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann.


Photo: Zimmermann

Finding their feet in the early 1990’s at Sydney’s Paddington markets, it was from here that momentum grew for the emerging duo. Zimmermann established itself as a label that responded to the women who wore their garments, maintaining a somewhat personalised range of ready-to-wear, chic fashion for the stylish Aussie girl. Since then, Zimmermann have established themselves on a global scale with instantly recognisable and feminine items that are an elegant desire – from embroided swimwear, to lace playsuits and petite blouses, the duo inflict a modern-day edge to a classic form of Australian fashion.

Like all high-end fashion names, Zimmermann present an annual ready-to-wear collection at the New York Fashion Week and have showrooms in Sydney, London, New York and Los Angeles, cementing their prominence among fashion culture. Their influence extends to an overseas market where their unique designs are in high demand.


Photo: Zimmermann

With original designs a step ahead of the modern-day girl, Zimmermann inspire an instant realm of beauty and set the scene for the year to come. They have the ability to transform a bad day to a beautiful one with simple silk fabric – and, they are a symbol of success for generations to come. This years ready-to-wear collection left no stone unturned, featuring an extensive range of to-die-for pieces. There was an emphasis on subtle pastels, tailored monochrome, delicate lace and aesthetic prints, ensuring Zimmermann’s 2016 collection showed expert capability that separates them from the crowd. Two-piece ensembles made a much appreciated appearance in the form of high-wasted shorts and accompanying tailored tops, as well as a corded skirt and top combination.

The entirety of Zimmermann’s influence is arguably up their with the very best – from small beginnings, Nicky and Simone have established themselves as a high-end fashion label worn by women of prominence, power, fashion and everyday life. Their continuous eye for trends and originality is an elite combination, allowing the label and its devoted designers a multitude of ever-deserving success with designs that will still be in demand for decades to come.

By Alanah Frost

200 Years Of Australian Fashion: A review

It’s timeless elegance meets classic chic and modern edge all under one stunning roof.

The 200 Years of Australian Fashion exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) perfectly executes the evolution of Australian fashion over a critical 200 year period, expressing specific times in cultural, social and even political history and an individuality that ultimately formed Australia’s fashion identity.


Arranged as a walk through time, the gallery opens with modest beginnings of colonial Australia, showcasing original day, evening and maternity wear, alongside a basic yet beautiful cream wedding dress. The masterpiece of the collection – a high-neckline day dress featuring a spacious pattern of flowers and complete with frills of blue trim, is the collections earliest known garment, dating back to 1805 and manufactured locally in Geelong.

Mirroring today’s designs of sophistication, an original David Jones tailored coat pulled from the archives of 1838 proved that classic trends never cease. The tailored garment is an obvious template for the that of today, with trademark buttons, square shoulders and fitted symmetrical lines.

A two-century display of fashions finest designs would not be complete without an tribute to the original establishments of the Collins Street ‘Paris end’, where Melbourne’s high-fashion culture began. Traditional dressmakers and establishments, such as Le Louvre featured couture gowns and sweeping dresses of elegance. In addition, designers from Brisbane’s salons and Sydney’s influencers were displayed, such as Miss Scott’s coloured silk and cotton gown, adorned by pleats, frayed ruffles and sleeves made with handmade lace trim.

Stemming from the ever-changing influences of Australian culture, the on-display pages of Weigel’s Journal of Fashion and Collection(s) magazines project a new era in women’s fashion – embracing female sexuality. The 1950’s established Australia as a fashion competitor across the globe, sparking interest and appreciation. A bed of flowers introduces the revolutionary and daring mini dress, inspired by Jean Shrimpton’s crowd-stopping dress at Flemington Racecourse in 1965. The sequence of five mannequins features baby-doll frocks, jumpsuits, peter-pan collars and raised hemlines. Stand-out items included a evening frock, with stunning embroidery of small lilac flowers and falling mid-thigh, and a sweet, black, baby-doll dress featuring small cascading white buttons along the bust, and a white lace peter-pan collar and sleeve trims.

The flower-power movement introduced new levels of pattern, texture and individuality as shown by Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson’s aztec collaboration of deigns for their ‘frock salon’, Flamingo Park. Literally drawing on Australian ground-roots, Flamingo Park introduced local flora and fauna into patterns that celebrated Australia’s landscapes and trademarks. A Sydney Opera House inspired knit featured the roof peaks of the iconic building, with the words ‘BONDI’ and ‘KOALA’ spelt out on separate panels.

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And finally, there was a heartfelt ode to the designers of today – the modern fabric artists who expanded on 200 years of fashion in Australia and established a new reign on society with their  elegance and flare. Alannah Hill featured feminine beauty in shades of rich burgundy and body-hugging chic, while Carla Zampatti, Scanlan Theodore and Dion Lee were comprised of luxury and modern edge, leaving an open door for the coming 200 years of Australian fashion.


By Alanah Frost


University can be tough at the best of times without having to find something to wear each morning, so I’ve taken it upon myself to put together a list of five staple pieces to get you through university this winter. From good quality and guaranteed to last, to cheap and fun, I’ve documented some of this seasons trends that are sure to inspire your university wardrobe this winter.



A good old faithful COAT – You simply can’t go wrong in winter with a staple coat that can get you anywhere. Whether it be running out the door to class on a frosty Monday morning, or meeting friends for coffee, a coat that is warm and versatile is a must. Be sure to find one that is tailored to your everyday style; one that can be worn over dresses, pants or a casual pair jeans. For those with a few extra pennies, a good quality coat that will last a few seasons is well worth the investment, but bargain woolies are also sure to do the job.


My suggestions: Princess Highway ‘Central Park Duffel’ ($198); H&M ‘Textured Coat’ ($59.95); Boohoo ‘Kate Belted Shawl Collar Coat’ ($40)


Photo: Dangerfield


Photo: Boohoo



High wasted JEANS – A pair of well-fitting, high-wasted jeans are a godsend on a mid-winters day. They keep your lower back warm, you can tuck your shirt in to them and they give you  just that little bit of extra confidence. If you find the right pair they can get you through a day of lectures and dinner reservations for two in one day – it’s all in the make.


My suggestions: Jag ‘The Rosie – High Rise Skinny’ ($109.95); Sportsgirl ‘High Waist Full Length Jean’ ($89.95); Topshop ‘MOTO Patchwork Mom Jeans’ ($42)


Photo: Jag



Sturdy ankle BOOTS – Ankle boots are not only always ‘in’ season, but are a timeless wardrobe must-have on a cold and wet winters day. They can tread through puddles and make it – in the rain – from the tram stop to class, all the while keeping your toes dry. And the best bit about them is that quality made ones with last you a lifetime, but a pair of cheap ones will also do just the trick. Put away your canvas shoes and replace them with comfort and classic winter style this season.


My suggestions: Jo Mercer ‘Wally Ankle Boots’ ($149.95); Novo ‘Diesel Flat Ankle Boot’ ($59.95); Rubi Shoes ‘Tina Lace Up’ ($49.95)


Photo: Novo



Casual TEE’s – For the days when effort is in the all-too-hard basket, why not lounge back, feel comfy and maintain a neat and causal look with an effortless tee. It’s hard to look out of place in at uni in a tee-shirt, so embrace the laid back and easy style.


My suggestions: General Pants, Lee ‘No Brainer T-Shirt’ ($49.95); Myer, Miss Shop ‘Essential Tee’ Range (varying prices, $20+); Cotton On ‘Winnie Ringer Tee’ ($19.95 OR two for $30)


Photo: General Pants Co/Lee



A nice KNIT – It really isn’t winter until you’ve pulled out your favourite knit and rugged up for the day. It’s one that can be worn whenever, to wherever, it’s warm and can be dressed up or dressed down, it adds colour to the dark blue and grey colour of the sky (and your jeans) and above all else, it’s comfier than anything you own – if you haven’t got one, you’re missing out.


My suggestions: Sportsgirl ‘Cable Knit Pullover’ ($62.97); JayJay’s ‘Wide Rib Oversized Cardi’ ($49.95); Myer, Miss Shop ‘Textured Stripe Knit Jumper’ ($40);


Photo: JayJays


Photo: Myer


By Alanah Frost


As culture today becomes increasingly more fashion-orientated, independent labels and designers are fast-making their way in to a once restricted world of retail.

This new era of design is delivering a unique touch to what’s already out there – whether it be street-style, retro or chic – adding their own logo and gaining popularity for their individuality.

They’re young, local and often established from their backyard – and they’re changing the development of the fashion world.


Mornington Peninsula-based twins Charlie and Matt Pascazio are doing just that.

As the faces of Two The Sea Clothing, an independent and self-established surf label developed in 2013, Charlie and Matt are competitors in a new generation of fashion. They made their way into the market with artistic skills, a graphic designer and some big ideas, and have since created a label of basic essentials with relaxed vibes and versatile designs.

Photos: Two the Sea

“Charlie is the artist of our designs, drawing ideas that could become cool designs for different pieces of clothing. Our brand is a surf brand… so we target our clothing to the ‘surfy’ and ‘beachy’ kind of people mainly between the ages of 16 to 26 – we feel these are the people that are most likely to wear up and coming local clothing brands.”

Establishing themselves locally and through social media, Two The Sea has grown in popularity in its four years with just under 2,000 followers on Instagram and an influx of orders – giving the brothers high hopes for the future of their brand.

“We have gone above and beyond our own expectations, selling clothing all around the Mornington Peninsula and even interstate. For the future we would love to supply our clothing to surf stores around the Peninsula. We want to try and increase the amount of stock we are ordering in and increasing our overall turn around of stock.”

“We always thought about how cool it would be to start our own clothing company. It stared off as a bit of fun and quickly grew into more, and more work for the two of us. We never thought of it as a business venture so it was more just a fun way of getting people to wear clothing that we had designed ourselves.”

Local designers are what seems to be the ‘next big thing’ in popular culture, but what separates one from the next is their ability to change with the trends and provide a diverse line that pleases existing customers and inspires more.

“We feel like our brand is a personable brand that people can enjoy and feel excited to wear. It’s run by twins which I think is original in its own way and people can relate to the family sort of vibes we have for our brand.”

“We are continuously thinking about our next orders and what sorts of things may be in fashion. Keep an eye out for our winter stock, it is going to be tasty!”

Two The Sea are currently developing a website to be launched in the near future. In the meantime head over to their Instagram page @twotheseaclothing to check out their designs.


By Alanah Frost


The recent Myer meets Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) contemporary designers runway, delivered a first-look at this seasons most wanted and elegant styles. Designers including White Suede, Cue, Marcs, sass & bide, By Johnny, Morrison, Asilio, Alex Perry and more strutted a catwalk flanked with fashion faithfuls, in garments prepared to shape this seasons trends.

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Asilio reintroduced lace with intricate, sheer and chic numbers embodied with patterns and layers. Their monochrome tones touched on a classic elegance, while the occasional flare of colour added a modern edge. Stand out items included a high-necked blacked lace dress, adorned by a sweeping black skirt and split up the thigh, and a stunning knee-length red dress with vine-like lace embroidery and striking flared sleeves.

Once again Cue maintained their traditional sleek and sophisticated romance, honouring an era of timeless designs. They introduced asymmetrical lines in neutral tones, complementing houndstooth skirts and pants with now-trending flares. Tie-up floral blouses finished off a display of pure chic in a collection that is sure to be in high demand.

Trench coats and tailored jackets were again a stable item throughout, with this seasons designs predominately going back to simplistic blacks, greys, and whites. Layers were also a recurring theme in all manners – whether it be a shirt, knitted jumper and coat combination or a basic long sleeve blouse underneath a sleeveless dress, this season more appears to be more.

It was, however, Jennifer Hawkins who stole the show in Alex Perry’s immaculate creations. First, a tailored black pant-suit, then a sleek strapless metallic-gold midi-dress, followed by an incredible full-length light-peach coloured gown with fine dotted detail. Perry ended his exquisite collection with a phenomenal full-length white strapless ensemble, delicately ruched and tailored to subtly protrude and fall from the bust.

As per usual, Myer did not disappoint and delivered a night of undying elegance and beauty for the 2016 contemporary market, setting the scene for this seasons trends.


By Alanah Frost