What’s Up Down Under? A Report From Fashion Week in Sydney

It takes about 24 hours to get to Sydney, Australia from New York. In that span of time your mind can really wander. Leaving for my third round of Sydney Fashion Week, I preloaded the Vogue podcast to get in the mood and spent the rest of those in-flight hours thinking about what I might see Down Under. In the past, much of the week had been defined by dueling obsessions: On the one hand were the designers who favored an extreme take on feminine flou above all else; on the other were those exploring sleek, architectural shapes.
Through that lens, something of an about-face. The strongest collections abandoned overwrought items of any kind in favor of an understated ease. By repositioning the official runway shows in 2016 to coincide with the Resort collections around the world, the city finally seems to have found its beat in sun-kissed swimwear and unfussy separates that could take a woman from Bondi’s beaches to Syndey’s Central Business District and back again. That’s a savvy adjustment; still, all that ease could use a little edge, no? On the whole, the Aussie scene remains somewhat unaffected by the world’s current fixations with streetwear, irony, and fashion that pushes the boundaries of acceptable taste.

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