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Aussie Designers Get Their NYFW Moment

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“Australia is so isolated from the rest of the world, the designers here don’t always have as much pull in the international market,” Fashion Palette founder Sonya Mefaddi told Style.com prior to last night’s runway presentation, which showcased ten Aussie designers at Canoe Studios in Chelsea. After founding Fashion Palette in 2009 as a platform to promote Australian designers to local consumers, Mefaddi set her sights on the Big Apple and handpicked ten promising up-and-coming labels including Akira, Betty Tran, Jatine, and Bettina Liano to present their Spring ’13 collections to Manhattan-based buyers and press—a first for many of the designers.

“New York has this amazing energy,” Mefaddi said. “It’s one of the fashion capitals of the world and we wanted to prove that our designers can compete on a global scale.” Unsurprisingly, the looks skewed less Bondi Beach and more Brooklyn Heights, with heavier fabrics including metallic brocade and sharp, menswear-inspired pieces. (Tran’s deconstructed suiting recalled a young Bianca Jagger circa Studio 54.) “It blows my mind how amazing these designers are, yet they are virtually unknown,” mused Aussie model Jessica Hart, who was installed front-row. “The talent in Melbourne and Sydney tends to get overlooked because we are so far away, but they should be noticed and appreciated here just like everyone else.”

Photo: Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images / Piju

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