Get Independent – LMFF-style !

Ladies & Gentlemen, I hope you enjoy this BusinessChic coverage of the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) Independent Parade because I certainly had a lot of fun in the making…!  I have categorised offerings from these up-and-coming Australian designers  by work dress code: Polished, Smart Casual and Art after Dark (which could also mean ‘creatively polished’…), with some notes on how I’d adapt for such environments. I’ve also linked in the websites of most designers (where I have been able to find them) in order to facilitate easy-pursuit; on your marks! -xx BusiChic  


@OfCabbages&Kings, photo by Lucas Dawson, collage by BusiChic

This Jasper-Conran-Vivienne-Westwood-esque polished skirt suit by the fabulously named OfCabbages&Kings had me jumping in my seat. I love the very femininely tailored jacket and chic grey hue which I’d team with a baby wool knit from Scanlan & Theodore or lightweight knit from Kookai or Indigo in navy, baby pink, lilac or white.. And while this is a suit, I’ve stopped short of categorizing this as “corporate” due to the bold print on the lapel which might be a tad distracting in the boardroom… that said, it would also depend on the flair of the wearer- I know some fabulous older women who could pull this off with the required strength; however wee lasses might get lost under such bold detail such that the suit was wearing them… and that does not make for a good impression in meetings. Also the length of the skirt is a little shorter than I’d like in a corporate suit… but I still want it and would wear with patent leather pumps as sported by dear Meagan in this earlier BusinessChic on the street entry.      

@Alexi Freeman, photo by Lucas Dawson, collage by BusiChic

 I’m always on the hunt for a good print to add interest to my rather noir/ grey/cream/navy workrobe and Melbourne-based Alexi Freeman sure provided a good dose of such in this ensemble. Far left is the catwalk look and as we move to the right, I’ve blacked out pieces so to highlight how this look can be adapted for an office environment. While I’d save leggings for Smart Casual ensembles only, the dress is my pick for a polished look – team with a black trench, black patent leather belt (I haven’t drawn this in, but it will help keep the waist defined, which might get lost under such print) opaque stockings and patent leather pumps for an easy-to-assemble office femme look… or as I like to do with light-weight dresses, pop a pencil skirt over the top (I’m not sure if Freeman is doing this print in top-format..) etc … oooh and not drawn here, but I’d otherwise like to pop a longsleeve black knit under the dress then add belt+trench+stockings+pump for a more relaxed but still polished femme-in-the-office-and-out-to-drinks look… and some colored earrings – I’ve drawn some on in the last outfit here but in real life, I personally love my old school colourful crystal offerings by Mimco…     

Smart Casual      

Pete@Papillon, @LuiHon, @WhoAmEye; photos by Lucas Dawson; collage by BusiChic

Brace yourself – Papillon thank you! I have been on the hunt for braces (albeit for myself.. and in aubergine..) for the office and was very excited to see this offering by Papillon who I swear are missing an ‘i’ in their name… but I digress. Boys, will you embrace the braces? I do hope so… though perhaps with grey pants and lilac shirt.? If the pants were looser (and in suit fabric) this could work as a Polished ensemble but as it’s quite fashion-like, it’s comfortably in the smart casual basket…crate..      

Svelte & Snug – Lui Hon delicious noir knit dress with opaques; a favourite look of mine but one which I’d add a bit of bling to via this necklace which was shown in the Daniela Orlando show and I am trying to track down who it’s by (help please!). A luxurious look; if the hemline was longer, I’d say it could be Contemporary Business Wear/Polished, otherwise it snuggles here quite nicely as smart casual.       

Bringing Sexy Back – Who Am Eye a great creative and layered look for smart casual boys. The hoody is casual enough but the blazer adds a bit of style and polish… and I like how the hoody and shoes are in a different colour to add some dimension.         










 Art after dark      

@Above; Chelsea@Magdalena Velevska; @Alistair Trung; photos by Lucas Dawson; collage by BusiChic

Now some creative licence for those ladies who like to get a little adventurous and push the boundaries of workwear but still look professional.      

Statement Jewels –  While the obvious choice would have been to select a piece shown by the ever-so-lust-worthy EXCESSORY experts,  House of Baulch, I’ve selected just this one piece shown as part of the Daniela Orlando show (teamed with a corporate white shirt which was another bit of inspiration I might use in future!) and pasted over the top of these three lovely ensembles to showcase the versatility of a good statement necklace. Dear Reader, if you are able to confirm who this particular statement necklace is by, I’d appreciate if you could drop me a line so I can credit the appropriate makers of this beauty..      

Luxuriously Grecian-inspired – Above Focusing on the deliciously-draped top; I’d like to team this with pencil skirt and black patent pumps. When going out for drinks, I’d add a bold lippy in red or fuschia…      

Cocktail anyone? – Magdalena Velevska – I love colour and would love to see such dresses worn on Melbourne-grey Thursdays or Fridays. In order to make office appropriate – consider wearing a lightweight black knit underneath the dress, add black opaque stockings and black pumps which might all sound dull but will help anchor this ultimately bold look – and don’t forget the most important piece – a perfectly tailored black blazer (either feminine and long or cropped&boyish).. is the flower detachable? If so, attach to a ribbon/hair tie and wear around the wrist or tie around your bag strap for a rather well-coordinated ensemble..      



Avant-garde – Alistair Trung I love the sheen and drape of this dress. Add the requisite anchorsblazer (bring along just in case you need to up the corporate-factor), black knit, black opaque stockings & black pumps.. I’d also consider a belt for all that volume which would be convenient to hide a generous Friday lunch (do those still happen? It’s sure been a while!).. and wear a necklace in the conventional manner during the day but then switchy-roonie for a glam night out – xx      







 Honourable mentions      

I was quite impressed by the high level of quality in the Independent runway line up – the strong and consistent looks provided by each designer left me with a very long list of items I want to add to my office outfits. Honourable mentions must go to: House of Baulch for fabulous accessories (and brave models!) which I would like to track down and marvel over in closer proximity. There were many luxuriously-chunky-shiny statement necklaces and bangles which I’d love to see lifting autumn-winter outfits; glinting from under a trench…adding interest to basic but comfy black woolen knit tops…; Papillon for sharply tailored blazers for the boys;  

Photo by Lucas Dawson

 Fool for avant-garde headwear (I’d love to tie some of the pom-pom action to a black croc-skin workbag..) and uni-colour ensembles that when broken down would require a single full BC-entry (!); Daniela Orlando for some strong femme looks (unfortunately I couldn’t get access to the pics I wanted); Kuwaii for some very kuwaii dresses (unfortunately I couldn’t get access to the pics I wanted either – there’s a protocol, too long to explain here!) and Melanie Bower for her outfits with interesting cut-out detail that would look amazing layered…  

However when looking over my notes, the designer against whom I had noted the most asterixes – which indicates most-adaptable-for-BusinessChic-officewear was Magdalena Velevska. This was a line full of business chic dresses in appropriate lengths (the cobalt number feature here was the shortest) but cut fabulously feminine and in some stunning colours (the Valentino-esque red is burned in my memory).. just add anchors (refer above).. So do keep an eye out for MV – which I think was the MVP in the very fabulous Indie lineup…      

Special thanks      

BusinessChic coverage of the 2010  L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival – Independent Runway would not have been possible without the help of the following –      

Knight in Shining Armour - thank you Ravi!

AMPR    – Thank you to Jannah Flockhart, Sarah Gale, Ann Morrison & Brooke Shell  

Sian & Arno @ Gânache Chocolate who advised on the selection of delicious chocolates and beautiful packaging I needed in order to send appropriate thank yous to the above! Thank you both and I am also looking forward to indulging in your exquisite chocolate over this Easter- not long now!  

and to whomever designed the LMFF iPhone App – thank you! It was easy-on-the-eye, informative and so handy to use- I truly like it such that it’s even inspired me  to create a BusinessChic iPhone App- fabulous! xx  

Please email your friends&help spread the chic! xx BusiChic

And on an extremely self-indulgent note, if you happen to be in front of the box at 9.30pm tonight – please tune into Channel 31 which will be airing Episode 4 of the fun new show Destination 90s – a tribute to life, music and lots of other things we all loved in the nineties… hosted by the gorgeous Caitlin Jolly with segments presented by Graeme Simpson and as of this episode; yours truly 🙂 xx 


  1. Love the collages!

    • So glad you like them! I was fretting about how I could ‘melbournise’ the catwalk then remembered I had some rather nice snaps on my iPhone…

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