MBFW Australia readies with Dion Lee to open, Sass & Bide return home

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is set to kick off its Resort 2018 show schedule on May 14 in Sydney.

With the official schedule being released online, it's local designer Dion Lee who will officially open the five-day fashion bonanza on Sunday May 14, ahead of a jam-packed roster of 40 scheduled shows featuring collections from around 50 designers.


Dion Lee - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula

A regular on the New York Fashion Week scene, Lee will show 40 looks from his eponymous label's Resort collection, according to the designer.

"I'm extremely excited, opening for MBFWA is something I've always wanted to do and this year, with a lot of new projects in the mix, the timing feels perfect," Lee told The Sunday Telegraph. "I think there's a strong synergy between both brands and a sophistication that speaks to our aesthetic through strong silhouettes and engineered design."

However, rippling the waters downunder is the official return of Sass & Bide to the Australian fashion week scene. Having presented their last official collection in Sydney way back in 2003 -- when it was helmed by brand founders and friends, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton --Sass & Bide sees "MBFWA [as] a global destination of international standard for resort," according to the label's head designer, Sarah Berman, in an interview with Vogue Australia.


Sass & Bide - Fall-Winter2015 - Womenswear - London - © PixelFormula

As for the upcoming Sass & Bide collection, art and innovation will shimmy down the runway, serving as universal hot points that hope to appease the bevy of international buyers flying in for the show, and their respective markets once returned.

“We’ve been working on new innovative techniques and ideas while staying true to the brand aesthetic," said Berman. "Art and culture inspire us always, and this season it is especially the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, with its mesmerising mixture of decoration and modernist design, which was our starting point.”

It's the second year now that MBFWA will showcase resort collections -- instead of the typical spring/summer or autumn/winter. Event organisers IMG made the change back in 2016, saying the shift would put the Australian edition in line with the international retail calendar.

“May marks the beginning of the global sales window for these lucrative retail collections,” said Emily Weight, Head of Fashion, IMG Fashion Events & Properties, Asia Pacific, at the time of the change in 2016.

“The new timing and resort offering reflects our work with the industry to maintain global relevance for the region’s leading fashion event."

For the upcoming 2017 edition, buyers from department stores Saks, Isetan, Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford are all slated to attend, as well as online retailers Matchesfashion, Net-a-Porter, Shopbop and Moda Operandi.

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