Come with us as we go behind the scenes of the making of Bianca Spender FIFTEEN – a runway presentation at Australian Fashion Week to celebrate 15 years of the brand.
Craftsmanship is at our core, and each design holds a deep consideration for the form. Draped by hand on the body, Bianca is connected to each piece within the collection.
This season we looked to the past with fresh eyes, to reimagine some of Bianca’s most iconic designs. Delving through archives dating back to 2008, we celebrated the essence of the brand, its signature design and its natural evolution.
“Revisiting and reworking some of my designs from the last 15 years, I sought to challenge myself to elevate separates into occasion wear and to downplay dresses. I re-kindled my love for patternmaking and hand-worked most of the drapery and patterns in my own hand.”
- Bianca Spender
A sense of softness was the guiding light, and FIFTEEN encapsulates the essence of ease through signature languid drape, gathers and a palette of earthy naturals, contrasted with flashes of pure colour.
We carried the essence of softness through to the design and runway production process – looking inward to convey the notion of ease confidently yet quietly. We danced our way through the roadblocks to our ‘Fashion Week Survival’ Spotify playlist and curated a team of aligned creatives to bring Bianca’s vision to life.
Creating my Summer 23 collection was one that was very personal to me. Reflecting on 15 years as a designer has been an incredible journey and one that has so many stories. Thinking about what we want to say, how we want to make people feel. With the harshness that we are viewing in the world right now, it felt very important to create a moment of softness.
- Bianca Spender
“ A deep exhale, something that we can fall into and that can inspire us in our daily lives. We started with this incredibly neutral colour palette, something very fresh for me, all in these earthy hues. It has this groundedness and this lightness at the same time. With this, it was about finding the form, and the form was about these rounded shapes, twisting backs, drawstring sleeves and sculpting drapes that have both a modernity and graphic world but had this organic touch.
Draping them on the mannequin and on the body was something that gave me endless joy and something that I hope when you wear it, you can feel the hand that has created it.”
- Bianca Spender
The environmental impact remains a key focus and we were proud to present a runway collection comprised of 60% remnant cloth. Bespoke-produced fabrics have been carefully considered and created in limited quantities with the intention of reducing our footprint on the earth.
Further enhancing the collection, we partnered with emerging vegan leather footwear brand, edie collective to create twisted and wrapped shoes, delicately detailed in earthy hues of sage, mushroom and banana.
The hair look is untamed yet intricate. Created by Goldwell Hair Director, Jason Fassbender, an untamed faux fringe is juxtaposed against a softly billowing dropped ponytail, that travels nonchalantly down the nape of the neck.
Looking to foster a sense of intimacy and a feeling of being deeply held, the runway presentation sought to shift the rectilinear nature of the traditional catwalk. The seating formation invites the audience in, while intimately close models walk in a circular motion, reflecting the shape of the shadow of the horizon. A suspended lighting ellipse creates a delineation between the earth and a bespoke instrumental composition of echoes the unconscious sounds of our surroundings.
“The arc of the show follows the shape of the day. A cool, crisp, misty morning warming with the sun then plunging back to dark. We leant into the planetary rhythms that hold us in time and space.”
- Elizabeth Gadsby, Set Director
The collection captures the essence of connection. There is a sense of deep grounding, and the collection portrays the winding journey of self-expression through design from Spender’s 15 years as a designer.
“Somewhere on this journey, I found I was no longer second-guessing myself. This is the unbearable lightness of being.”