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Australian Fashion Week Day 3: Space goddesses, occult kink, and neo-Peter Pan lost kids

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Day three of Australian fashion week proved to be the biggest and most theatrical of week, with designers showcasing collections riffing romance sci-fi, neo-Peter Pan lost kids, and even occult kink.

Alix Higgins: Lost boys (and gals)

Alix Higgins – Cruise Collection2025 – Womenswear – Sydney – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Day three started with cult fashion brand Alix Higgins and his largest show to date. The co-ed show presented an autobiographical collection of punkish shirting with polka dots made from his own fingerprint; a digital printed picture of a friend’s face on a T-shirt, and a velvet fabric printed with an iPhone photo of wallpaper from the designer’s old Elizabeth Bay apartment.

With frilly neck collars popping out under languid tops and paired with leggings, the collection was a modern take on Peter Pan’s Lost Boys, as models powered down the runway like nymphs trying to escape this world. The show was a hit among the innerwest Sydney fashion crowd too, judging by the applause. Higgins’ graffiti slogan prints and playful deconstruction wouldn’t go amiss on the London Fashion Week circuit either.

Third Form: Sexiness refined

 

Third Form – Cruise Collection2025 – Womenswear – Sydney – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

It was a polar opposite aesthetic from AFW debutant Third Form. Founded in 2014 by Zimmermann alumni, Merryn Kelly, the Sydney label served up refined femininity, for the global woman on the go.
 
The ‘Re-Form’ collection signified a return to craftsmanship and design for the womenswear brand, juxtaposing raw edges and suiting staples with cut-outs, floral jacquards, and brilliant sequins on dresses, with its renowned crushed satin range making a return for Resort 2025.

The brand also explored sexiness in evening wear with a black splice gown with large mesh panelling and a high-cut side slit dress with, of course, chic underwear peeking out the side.

Anna Quan: Water and light

Anna Quan Resort 2025 collection – Getty

Anna Quan, the contemporary chic fashion brand founded by Anna Hoang in 2013, drew inspiration from the fluidity and tranquility of water for her Resort 25 collection, seen via key motifs: infinity waves and figure-of-eight designs, captured in a water-esque colour palette with pops of hardware and symbolism of the sea.

The day-to-night collection also saw the brand make its denim debut; the new category adding another notch in the style belt of the Anna Quan woman.

Speaking with FashionNetwork.com, Quan described to AFW as another touchpoint for the designer to connect with buyers, the industry and showcase her collections in an experiential way, before deciphering the relevance of Australian fashion globally.

“Australian fashion represents a small fraction of global fashion output. However, our geography, youth as a nation and antipodean sensibility adds a different flavour and perspective in the international space,” concluded Quan.

Karla Spetic: Lace and a taste of Japan

Karla Spetic – Cruise Collection2025 – Womenswear – Sydney – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Inspired by Japanese cinema, namesake designer Karla Spetic, a self-confessed Japanophile, debuted a melange of pop-cultural references known to the archipelago Asian nation, and her brand’s affinity with lace.

Made from fabrics sourced from Japan, with a colour palette of black and white and shades of blue, the ‘Ikigai’ collection starred stretchy bodycon floral lace pieces (one in a striking Tarantino blood red); lace-print knitwear; and swimwear under sheer pieces (sometimes even garter belts) with more elevated tailored pieces with detachable sleeves and collars; skin revealing antics by a collection steeped in culture and sensuality.

Romance Was Born: Space goddesses

Romance Was Born Resort 2025 collection – Getty

A stunning oversized ‘moonscape’ greeted guests upon arrival on Wednesday night, ahead of the hotly anticipated Romance Was Born show. 

Designed by Chantel Covey-Lane, the eerie set — pulsating with music created by Tyoow — set the scene for designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales and their reinterpretation of 80’s classic fantasy, sci-fi and horror films via the romanticism known to their clothes.

What resulted was a score of space goddesses walking the runway in hyper-coloured oversized gowns — think cosmic caftans, as well as intricately beaded jackets with mega-shoulders and hybrid jacket-dresses; all embracing this sentiment of cocooning. ‘The Nothing’ collection also played on designers’ penchant for loud prints, but splitting them and constructing them once more, often worn with textile space helmets, which also carried beading, created by specialist artisans in India.

Nicol & Ford: Witchcraft kink

Nicol & Ford Resort 2025 – Getty Images

Designer duo Katie and Lil Nicol-Ford of Nicol & Ford closed AFW day 3 with a theatrical display that parlayed the life and works of Sydney underworld figure Rosaleen Norton, who was associated with the occult and became known as ‘The Witch of Kings Cross’ some 70 years ago.

The brand’s ‘Thorn’ collection featured low scooping snake-print dresses, and lots of lace, alongside more intense portrayals of what sorcery and kink looks like today; think a rope-and-chain gown and lots of leather (and even plastic wrap).

Casting models made up of fellow creatives and the local queer community, the dark collection climaxed with a floor-length gown constructed entirely from oyster shells; the model shuffling with a possessed look in their eyes, on monster-truck platform heels.

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