Australian Pattern Boldness

Australian fashion has an elusive identity. Our overbearing hot climate has separated us from our colonial European fashions while our lack of class distinction has cultivated the rise of casual dressing. The geographical dislocation between the capital cities has also given rise to a disjunction of fashion cultures. From quirky-eclectic chic in Melbourne – to fake tan and Birkenstocks in Sydney to a tropical-resort wear in sticky hot Brisbane.

Every city is united by a passion for bold patterns.  Patterns are a channel for Australian women to express themselves without comprising their comfort in the heat.

Walk Australia’s urban streets and be expected to see grown women wearing a whimsical whirl of colorful prints. Walk into an executive’s office and don’t be surprised to see multi-colored trousers, they might even be adorned with pineapples.


Here are 3 much-loved Australian brands with adored patterns.


Gorman is the quintessence of Australian fashion. Gorman collaborates with local artists every season and marry their design with quirky colorful prints.



Cue is an Aussie retailer that helps women stand out in the office and street in exclusive prints. Cue’s oriental inspired pieces are among my favorite prints to date. Not to mention Cue’s quality is divine with my pieces lasting years.




Camilla is another Australian designer that is the most quintessentially Australian. Her debut collection of colorful, crystal-embedded kaftans were forecasted to be a one-hit-wonder but she proved the haters wrong.

She keeps an Australia’s woman’s contradictory desire to stay casual-comfortable and ultra glamorous. Camilla Franks is an amazing woman who sticks to her values by dressing all women, no matter their size, incredibly loud.


So basically Australia’s lack of panache for understated dressing is compensated by our over-the-top prints.

What are some of your favorite Aussie brands with fabulous prints?

Meet Woolmark International’s Aussie Finalists


The International Woolmark Prize is an international competition celebrating wool with regional finalists competing for the international prize of getting their woolen collectionc commercialised and distributed International Woolmark Prize’s extensive retail partner network.

The regions include Asia; Australia & New Zealand; British Isles; Europe; India, Pakistan & Middle East; and the USA.

The regional prize of $50,000 goes towards the funding for their upcoming capsule collection to be showcased at the international Woolmark competition in six months. Not to mention the press coverage and mentoring from the well-versed panel. The global menswear and womenswear winners will both receive $100,000 to assist with fabric sourcing, marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring.

The Australian winners were womenswear label ‘Macgraw’ and menswear label ‘Ex Infinitas’






Macgraw duo Beth and Tessa Macgraw have had a busy year taking home 3 awards. They won the ‘BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award’ ($50,000 prize) and the ‘Tiffany Co National Designer Award’ (prize value of $100,000). The designers launched their label in 2012 and have a good eye for gorgeous prints and fabrics.

“Their (macgraw’s) ability to present, to share their point of view, and the amount of stores they are already stocked in speaks lengths of their talent,” Jason Wu said. “To the judging panel, they seemed the most ready to advance to the next stage.”

Get social with MacgrawFacebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest.



Designer Lukas Vincent grew up in suburban surfy-casual Melbourne with was far from the catwalks of Paris and Milan.

Ex Finitas celebrates Vincent’s surfer boy heritage and marries it with high-end luxury. He gives urban-casual staples a makeover with luxury fabrics and exquisite tailoring.

Vincent’s career path was non-traditional with him dropping out of his prestigious 3 year fashion degree at RMIT University after only 6 months to persue pratical experience and sought out Bettina Liano at the height of her success. He learnt the ropes in all areas from PR and advertising to patternmaking. He then went onto work at Lee and increased their menswear sales from 25 to 75 per cent.

“There’s been an incredible surge in technical types of wool, like those used in sportswear and athletic gear, and for my brand, being so inspired by surf culture, that really works,” Vincent says.

Vincent seems to have a sense of apprehension about making his collection an Aussie vibe but has now come round and believes he is inspired by is beer-guzzling classmates he felt so different from when growing up. “It’s funny looking back, because those are the guys who have become my muses in a weird way.” I love how Vogue appraises his collection as a “haute translation of bogan culture .”

Vincent must have been a refreshing guy in the midst of beer, pot-smoking suburban life. At least his collection can refresh the global fashion world after lots of hard work.


woolmarkhelloExinfinitas designer Lukas Vincent (second from left), with the Woolmark Prize womenswear winners, Beth (centre) and Tessa MacGraw, of macgraw. Photo: Ryan Schembri

Wool is something to be loved – what are you favorite brands that showcase wool in their designs?

Get social with Ex Finitas. Instagram.