Roksanda Ilincic is renowned for her hyperfemininity. This season, it took a dark turn. “It started with Charlotte Rampling and the movie The Night Porter,” said Ilincic backstage. “And also the American photographer Deborah Turbeville and her haunting pictures of women. I wanted to capture the vulnerability that she portrays in her images.”
A more streamlined silhouette was on offer — comprising cigarette trousers and gentle flares cropped above the ankle, and softly flowing midi-skirts in velvets and silks. Volume came in the form of peplum frills on dresses, but the styling took the drama down a notch, teaming frills with silk poet blouses that rippled down the runway.
Ruffled collars were inspired by Turbeville’s harlequin images, appearing on lurex sweaters and blouses that were tied with a pussybow — as was the outerwear, that came with oversized shearling collars that looked a lot like astrakhan. Chiffons were tightly ruched and patchworked together creating a stiff, camouflage jacquard. “That was another reference to the movie,” said Illincic, of the cult film that is set after the second world war.
There were shorter lengths, too. “Roxy slim and Roxy short,” joked Ilincic. The designer rarely offers a cropped hem, but this season A-line coats in skived leather and suede came well above the knee, and were teamed with velvet, thigh-length boots.
Taking references from such dark places lead to a muted palette. “I went a little bit more subtle this time, there were not so many fashion colours,” says Ilincic, of her tones that included burgundy, tobacco and midnight blue.
The designer, who celebrated 10 years of her brand last year and opened a Mount Street store in 2014, this season introduced a bag line that includes clutches, satchels and gladstones. “The tenth anniversary sparked this whole thing in a big way because I had time to stop and reflect on what I was doing,” she said. “It was time to close the book and open another chapter.”