The 2019 Gala Runway, Presented by David Jones
By Angelia Van Le
This piece was written as part of the Fashion Writing Program 2019
The highly anticipated Gala Runway, Presented by David Jones and Supported by Vogue Australia ran for its 11th consecutive year at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. Set in the grand Royal Exhibition Building with its glorious domes and murals depicting ethereal women draped in costume known as sylphs, the event showcased a curated collection of Autumn Winter 2019 looks by the nations top Australian designers including Aje, Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee and Zimmermann and featured season-leading trends by exclusive International fashion houses Balenciaga, Balmain and Valentino.
For such a prestigious event, one can only wear an outfit that is paparazzi worthy; if there was ever a time to dress for success - the Gala was the place to do it. Kitted up in my cream linen Aje jacket, Fendi leggings and Dior saddle bag I sashayed through a melting pot of keen fashion observers that included industry heavy weights, celebrities, influencers, designers, students and the stylish housewives of Melbourne.
The show opened with live vocals from Owl Eyes in a sultry performance accompanied by a thumping disco soundtrack. David Jones brand ambassador Jessica Gomes lead an incredible team of models on the runway, and numerous celebrities were spotted on the front-row for this spectacular event, including Natalie Bassingthwaighte, and Bianca and Carla from The Block.
This seasons dominant looks were all about elegance and 70s inspired silhouettes. There was a potent mix of timeless foundations of style with a contemporary clash of prints in erotically charged emerald, purple and reds. Rusty-hues were seen in dresses and a cropped leather bomber jacket teamed with a printed pleated swing skirt by Manning Cartell accessorised with aviator sunglasses and knee high camel coloured boots. Soft pastels and sheer fabrics creating a more feminine look were seen in a full-length mint green dress by Kate Sylvester, while sharp, clean silhouettes in the deepest black made for a stronger statement at Thurley that featured impeccably tailored pants and a bar jacket cinched-in at the waist with godet flares.
Major trends seen at International fashion weeks prior have translated into the Australian market and there was plenty of animal magnetism with leopard spots and sophisticated snake prints however the must-have colour of the season and the biggest takeaway from the show was colour - aubergine. Showcased by the tour-de-force team at Scanlan & Theodore we saw slick polished leather trench coats and matching shirt dresses belted-in at the waist that were chic and irrefutably modern.
The showstopper of the night was a silver embellished one shoulder gown by Rachel Gilbert that sparkled down the runway with enigmatic allure. In this context it felt inspired by nightlife and ridiculous extreme glamour which made me fantasise about some irresistible soirée where the effect of a dress like that would be fierce.
But enough daydreaming! The good news is that many of the items from the runway are available to purchase via Shop The Runway®, Presented by Visa. You might max out your credit card, but at least you'll be guaranteed to look paparazzi-worthy this season.