Ask a buyer: Lisa Aiken of Net-a-Porter on her MBFWA top picks
Retail Fashion Director
Lisa Aiken spends much of her time travelling the world on a sort of sartorial treasure hunt, in the hopes of uncovering the Next Big Thing in fashion. Here, she chats to Divya Bala on her experiences at Mercedes Benz Australia Fashion Week, her designer picks and why the Sydney scene is set to explode.
Hi Lisa, how has your week been?
I've had a great week this week. It's been a really strong outing, from the opening with Dion Lee, obviously we've worked with him for five years now, it's a brand we know well and love. And I think he does very well in a resort season and in this setting, this context. So I think he was a really strong opening for the week.
Any other favourites?
I thought Michael Lo Sordo's show was beautiful, I think it's probably been my favourite for the week and again, it's a brand we already work with. When you see a collection in a show, played out with the music and the stylist, it's really very powerful. And I love his foray into tailoring and shirting, I think that's a good move for him.
What are your thoughts on Australian style?
It's got this relaxed attitude to it, it doesn't feel too done which I think appeals to a modern woman globally. Because you're able to put on an evening dress and it still feels like, 'Oh, I just threw this on and I can be relaxed'. It's not that body-con vibe you get so much in evening wear.
Were there any trends you noticed in particular?
I think the trend that keeps on going is shirting, because women just know exactly what they're doing with it. They want multiple options because it feels new and fresh everytime you see it now. It's a nice easy price point and tailoring usually dominates the A/W runways so it's great to see that evolve here.
Are there are brands you've been introduced to since being in Sydney this time around?
The brand I'm seeing this evening is Anna Quan. I saw her at the Next Gen show last season and I'm quite excited to see her again after her presentation. She had that great shirt that went everywhere on social media very quickly. I thought she really stepped it up for her presentation this week.
I also really enjoyed Ten Pieces. I loved their blend of loungewear - which can often appear basic - but they had that sportswear element and that signature stripe that made it far more interesting.
And Double Rainbouu! It was cool and I like new brands that do one thing and do it really well. They've got a vision, it's very differentiated and I feel like that's exactly what they have.
Do you feel that Australian Fashion Week competes on a global scale?
There's a newness to be found here. As I go through the international weeks, these more emerging weeks - I know Australia is established but on an international scale, the likes of Copenhagen or Tbilisi or Seoul, that's where we're finding new, exciting brands. So it's kind of becoming quite a destination for me in terms of newness.
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