The Innovators MBFWA Show Saw The Next Rising Stars of Fashion

The Fashion Design Studio (FDS) is recognised as a leading fashion design education Institute in Australia. Under invitation by Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, FDS has continuously presented the new guard of creative fashion designers since 1999 on the official schedule, and this year the invitation continued with seven of their best graduates showcasing their collections on the runway. Photography by Jess Brohier.

Jessica Van

On a day largely dedicated to young and emerging designers, it was the graduating class of Australia’s foremost design institution, the esteemed Fashion Design Studio (FDS) that presented seven graduates who took the cake for pure creativity at “The Innovators” show for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

I was pretty excited to see “The Innovators: Fashion Design Studio” namely for the designers that were featured in the line-up.

The top graduates from the Fashion Design Studio are made up of designers that are the ones to watch in Australian fashion.

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The show saw attendees in fellow designers, buyers, and VIPs who are on the forefront of trends and were looking for the creation of the next trend, fashion with commercial potential made by the next rising stars of fashion.

The Innovators show is a show notorious for launching the careers of some of Australia’s most successful fashion designers such as Dion Lee, Christopher Esber, Nicky Zimmermann, Akira Isagowa.

The Innovators showcased designs from seven Fashion Design Studio Graduates, each with collections that were thought-provoking and forward-thinking, whose ambitions are to challenge, what they perceive to be, the rigid conventions of fashion.

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JESSICA VAN was a strong opener for The Innovators show with her show-stopping designs.

I like a designer that thinks about the entire look from head to toe including make-up, the garment itself, the accessories and how it all comes together to complete a look.

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Each look was so beautiful and I overheard Jessica Van‘s name in multiple conversations after the show. Finding inspiration in the world around us, particularly in the finite details, her designs are organic and explorative.

We are massive fans of Jessica Van and she is the designer we’ve decided to feature the most in this post but we will discuss everybody’s designs. In saying that, we cannot wait to see what she does next!

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Our first taste of men’s fashion came in the form of AHMAD TAUFIK‘s nostalgic collection this week. Fifties revere-collared shirts and wide-leg woollen pants came dressed with Harrington jackets, Taufik’s point-of-difference the creation of his own textiles: a jacquard based on work from artist Tomasso Sartori and a chic wet-look fabric.

Ahmad Taufik

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Now, I’m not sure if there was a lack of male models or if the clothing was made to be worn by both men and women, but there were some females that strutted Taufik‘s garments down the runway.


Assuming the crowd was full of classmates, family and friends of the Fashion Design Studio graduates, OXBLOOD was the designer that received the most cheering as soon as the label’s name appeared on the screens and when he walked out at the end. Oxlood‘s collection referenced punk, and the Sex Pistols and gave voice to the oversized, gritty and androgynous.


For his collection, FREDERICK JENKYN brought together a youthful aesthetic with a sophisticated application of textural textile manipulation.

Frederick Jenkyn

This range focused on the core idea of transformation, the idea that by shedding your skin and becoming anew you are able to develop as an individual, growing more raw, exposed and true to yourself. Frederick Jenkyn‘s garments saw lota of fringing and moulded bustiers which was a clever juxtaposition.

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MANDEM’s highly tailored streetwear ‘for the elite’ was one of the most commercial and stylish offerings of the week, embellished with the occasional symbol so not to get lost in a sea of monochrome.




Georgie IPSEN‘s collection was one of the other standouts from the runway show. Fashion is never permanent and constantly changing. Ipsen loves questioning people’s perception on wearable garments through fashion. She has naturally been deterred from minimalism. She is drawn to intricate details, textures and fabrications of each piece.



The Ipsen design is heavily textured independent pieces that are able to stand-alone. Her collection on show at MBFWA was contemporary, sophisticated and ultra-feminine.


KAKOPIEROS was the last to show and definitely a strong contender. Everybody in attendance was floored by her designs, particularly in the details. I mean, just check out the jewellery on the models’ faces. Some models reportedly wore safety pins through their lips!! CRAZY.


The label transcends the everyday mundane world and is interested in the big picture.Kakopieros is thought-provoking, an artist and a mystic. Fashion design is the medium she has chosen to translate her outlandish ideas into the universe.

It’s safe to say, Kakopieros has definitely left her mark in the fashion world.

The seven chosen from the class of 40 all showed a unique vision that all had huge commercial potential. The future definitely looks bright for Australian fashion.

Photos captured by Jess Brohier for The 5 to 9 Life.