‘Bunny ears’: The Brownlow look that’s already a hit on the runway

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When it comes to talking about Australian fashion, power brand Zimmermann is often the first word in the conversation. But this week, following the Brownlow red carpet and Paris Fashion Week, it’s the punchline.

In Zimmermann’s show on Monday, “bunny ears” – a pointy, strapless neckline that resembles rabbit ears – featured on two looks in the collection, which was inspired by the natural world. The two dresses, in a floaty floral print, conjured images of Brodie Ryan, the partner of Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley, in an emerald gown by Melbourne couturier Sean Rentero at last week’s AFL Brownlow.

‘Bunny ears’ (from left): Brodie Ryan at the Brownlow in Sean Rentero, and Zimmermann, Adut Akech for Mugler, and Y-Project at Paris Fashion Week.Credit: Getty

Looking back on this year’s Brownlow, the red carpet may have hinted at more runway trends than at first glance.

At Mugler, where fans framing the runway created more drama than Succession, Australian model Adut Akech wore the trend in the form of a bustier. Louis Vuitton’s take on the trend was softer, in the form of an off-shoulder peak, while at streetwear label Y-Project, maxi-dresses – rendered to look like a checked flannel shirt – were held up with straps as fine as dental floss.

Stylist Bianca Rose, who worked on Ryan’s Brownlow look, says she expects the silhouette to be popular for bridal and event dressing. “Everybody’s looking for a point of difference, no pun intended,” she says. “It’s feminine with an edge to it. It emphasises the decolletage and the collarbone, not necessarily the bust line. We want women to look at a dress like that and say, ‘I can pull that off.’”

Red carpet to runway (from left) … Annalise Dalins in Oglia-Loro Couture, and Stella McCartney, Valentino and Les Fleurs Studios in Paris.Credit: Getty

The ‘new naked’ dress

Designer Sam Oglialoro, of Oglia-Loro Couture, confirmed that Annalise Dalins’ ice-blue strapless gown, has been his most requested since Brownlow night. The look, dubbed the “new naked” dress as it gives the optical illusion of being sheer without being overly revealing, featured on the runways at Valentino, Stella McCartney and Elie Saab.

Oglialoro says it’s been gratifying to see elements of his eight Brownlow looks on the Paris runway. “Thank goodness we got in first [but] Australian designers are right up there with the Europeans,” he says.

Red to toe (from left) Demi Brereton in Marquise Bridal, and Christopher Esber, Alexander McQueen and Valentino in Paris.Credit: Getty

Head-to-toe red

Although the Brownlow produced much less red than expected, Emma Hawkins’ (in Cappellazzo Couture) and Demi Brereton’s (in Marquise Bridal) scarlet gowns scored bonus points for Nostradamus-ing the runways of Schiaparelli, Balmain and Australian Christopher Esber, in his Paris debut.

Of course, some of the most dramatic “tomato” moments of Paris Fashion Week belonged to Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, who is leaving the house after 26 years. She takes with her an incredible body of work, and, seemingly, the Princess of Wales, who has faithfully worn Burton’s designs for more than a decade (including her wedding gown). Burton’s next move, and the princess’ place in it, will be big news.

From left: Emma Hawkins in Cappellazzo Couture, and Hermes, Rick Owens and Kendall Jenner in Schiaparelli in Paris.Credit: Getty

Chain mail

A red-carpet alternative crochet – one of this summer’s biggest trends – chain mail is having a moment, seen on the runways of Valentino and Paco Rabanne, and in a lot of street-style looks. It’s high impact but can be toned down by adding a trench or blazer, or even a sneaker.

At the Brownlow, the look belonged to Gina Lamont (partner of North Melbourne’s Nick Larkey), a business banker and red carpet debutante who carried off the look by Cassandra Renee Couture with the confidence of a seasoned guest.

From left: Gina Lamont in Cassandra Renee Couture, and Valentino, and guest Veronica Ferraro and a model at Paco Rabanne. Credit: Getty

Dairy blends

Another “best on debut” award, this time for physiotherapy student Claudia Piva (partner of Carlton’s Adam Cerra), whose custard gown by Georgia Young Couture was giving Arnott’s Lemon Crisps – and just like the biscuits, it had the perfect sprinkle of “salt”, from the textured folds, to avoid any suggestion of blandness.

From left: Claudia Piva in Georgia Young Couture, Christopher Esber, Loewe, Zimmermann.Credit: Instagram/Getty

Yellow mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but the number of looks seen in Paris should at least provide comfort that paler shades are more versatile – pair them with khaki and chocolate. On the runway, shades of buttermilk and custard showed up in the collections of Loewe, Christopher Esber and Zimmermann – as ever, having the last word.

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