Australian labels make a strong case for carrying a bag


Remember wallets? How about handbags? Somehow during the pandemic we practically stopped using either, since most of what we needed could either a) fit in the pocket of our trackies, or b) tap more easily (and with fewer risks of germ transmission) on our phones.

But at Australian Fashion Week, which ended on Friday night, several brands made a very strong case for falling back in love with bags, of all guises. There were buckets and baskets, pillows and even plush toys refashioned into cross-body evening bags that almost did double duty as jewellery at Romance Was Born.


Oroton’s runway was a standout for its various takes on neutral bags.Credit:Getty

Accessories can sometimes be overlooked at Fashion Week, like ordering fish at a steak house, but they shouldn’t be. Often when it comes to trends, they’re the things that really take off because they’re more affordable, more wearable and available to buy sooner than the clothes.


But it wasn’t just about the bags: sandals are still reigning on the runway, while in street style, it was all about the combat boot. Love jewellery? Ginger & Smart had the earrings of the week, courtesy of glass-blower Mark Eliott. And there were more than a few rope belts, thanks to Daniel Avakian and COMMAS.

Bridget Veals, head of womenswear and accessories at David Jones, thought that overall shows were lower on embellishment and accessories than previous years. Still, in some good news, the barely-there and flat-bed sandals that were big last year are still in for this summer, while the combat boot is still strong as the transeasonal style of choice.


One of the most talked-about accessories ranges came from Oroton, which despite launching in 1938 held its first show at Australian Fashion Week on Tuesday. Creative director Sophie Holt, who joined the brand in 2018, has placed a strong emphasis on hardware and shapes that show off the brand’s craftsmanship and quality.

The blown-glass earrings at Ginger & Smart were a standout.

The blown-glass earrings at Ginger & Smart were a standout.Credit:Getty


She says after Oroton spent decades as a brand more for your aunty or nanna, younger customers who previously aspired to own international labels were now gravitating to the “new” Oroton.

A holiday for your head ... a brightly coloured scarf.

A holiday for your head … a brightly coloured scarf.Credit:Getty


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