At the cutting edge
By Celia Purdey
The standard of competition was high in the 2013 Myer Fashions on the Field Design and Millinery Awards, but the talents of designer Oscar Calvo and milliner Aniseh Fakhri won the day.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is world renowned for the incredible fashion on display, as the boldest, brightest and most stylish of designs turn the whole of Flemington into a catwalk. It also showcases some of the best design talent in Australia, evident in the Myer Fashions on the Field Design Award and Millinery Award. These coveted awards, offered by invitation to professional designers and milliners, also recognise the contribution designers and milliners have made to fashion at Flemington.
Impressing an esteemed judging panel, including international supermodel Coco Rocha and burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese, Victorian Oscar Calvo’s striking ensemble took the top honours in the Design Award on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day. Crafted of neoprene – a material usually associated with wetsuits – with laser cut-out detail in the skirt, the outfit balanced the elegant and classic with modernity.
Traditionally a menswear designer, Calvo decided to experiment with women’s fashion, with beautiful results. “I’ve been designing menswear since 2005, so I decided to enter Myer Fashions on the Field for a creative challenge,” he said. “I’d like to eventually debut a womenswear line so this process and, of course, winning helps with that.”
If his winning outfit is anything to go by, his womenswear line would be an exciting prospect. With his menswear emphasising an “edgy, carefree and luxurious” style, much of it made to measure, we can only imagine a line for women would be all of these things and more.
The simplicity of the outfit was inspired by wetsuit fabric and his which he conceived in just one day. “I thought about making the outfit in leather but decided it wasn’t compatible with the season. I was also going to originally add a peplum at the waist and laser-cut detail around the collar but in the end decided to keep it sleek and simple.”
The elegant silhouette, with cap sleeves and black panelling, makes the dress perfect for racewear, while the standout emerald green colour, laser-cut detail and sporty exposed zip at the back – a nod to wetsuit design – give it an edgy and contemporary feel. With gold and black accessories to match the belt, no detail was overlooked. Calvo even removed jewellery from the model just before she headed onto the catwalk, fearing it would detract from the outfit’s simplicity and subtlety.
A hat by Kerrie Stanley completed the look, with Calvo thrilled with its sculptural details. “The embossed gold and black leather added texture and complemented the sportiness of the neoprene,” he said. “Kerrie cut patterns in it to echo the laser cuts in the dress, and I loved how it looked from every angle.”
Calvo has many talents – as well as being a fashion designer, he has his own PR and events company and is also studying massage – but his artistic flair, as evident in his winning design, has us hoping to see even more of him trackside.
Pg. 30 – 32 Inside Headquarters
Photography by James Lauritz