Design & Style
8 April 2020
Design & Style
8 April 2020
While the chequered flag fell far too early on the Australian Formula 1® Grand Prix, it didn’t impact the annual Mercedes-Benz Ladies Day, which still went ahead for an afternoon of glamour and high fashion.
The cancellation of the Grand Prix meant that the assembly – comprising a who’s who of influencers, plus stars of media, sport, fashion and business – was a standalone celebration of the Australian fashion industry. Attendees enjoyed stunning hospitality inside the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge at the Albert Park Golf Club.
A gathering of Australian fashion’s elite
Beneath blue skies and gorgeous sunshine, the Star Lounge was as resplendent as ever – a new design incorporating two separate enclosed social areas, a wide open-air deck overlooking the spectacular Turn 11-12 complex, and a display of the finest machines from Mercedes-Benz.
More than 300 attendees were presented with Champagne on arrival and canapés devised by star chef Shane Delia, as well as some uniquely Mercedes-themed photo opportunities.
Attendees included international supermodel Georgia Fowler, television personalities Candice Wyatt, Kate Peck, Brodie Harper and Abbey Holmes, social influencers Steph Claire-Smith, Laura Henshaw and Bree McCann, sports stars Liz Cambage and Stephanie Rice and celebrities Moana Hope, Lindy Klim and Rhonda Burchmore.
A wide-ranging panel discussion followed, celebrating the substantial support that Mercedes-Benz has given to the Australian fashion industry for 25 years.
Expect tie dye, neon and pops of colour to dominate this year
Led by television presenter Gorgi Coghlan, guest panellists Elle Ferguson, Justine Cullen and Lizzie Renkert discussed the challenging conditions the fashion industry faces in 2020. They also offered some well-received social media tips and advice to their stylish audience.
Asked about coming trends, Elle Ferguson – a digital entrepreneur, fashion influencer and founder of the Elle Effect – said tie dye “is going nowhere soon, get some now!” and that after attending New York Fashion Week, neon would be coming through in details such as piping and stitching. “Other than that, the classics never go out of style,” she confided.
Justine Cullen, an award-winning magazine editor and editor-in-chief of Jones magazine, said fashion would always be representative of what was happening in the world.
“At times like these, we need a pep-up. When times are bad, hemlines rise – mostly because we can’t get all the fabric we need, but also as a pep-up. I think we will be seeing a bit more colour in the future,” she predicted.
No matter the clothes, it’s all about confidence
Gorgi said that to her, great style was about more than just the clothes. “It comes down to confidence. It doesn’t matter what you wear, what brand, if you’ve got a woman who feels good about herself, she’s got a great sense of self and a beautiful energy when she walks into the room, I’m always attracted to that woman in the room,” she said.
Lizzie Renkert, a former fashion editor who founded the much-loved We Are Kindred brand, said her focus was on creating investment pieces with an eye to sustainable practices and durable beauty. “Buy more of what you love and keep it forever, so they’re more beautiful keepsake pieces,” she advised the audience.
Elle, when quizzed on her own fashion journey, said that, at times, “the hardest lesson is to get up and keep going”.
“Sometimes you can go ‘I’ve printed 100,000 bottles with the wrong cruelty-free label on them, that’s my hard-earned money in those bottles’. You have to pull off the shrink wrap and just stick a sticker over it, and that’s what I’ve done,” she said.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, guests recharged their glasses and gathered to socialise, watch the on-track action from the sweeping deck, or inspect a startling array of Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG models including the Mercedes-AMG G 63, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé, a Mercedes-AMG GT R and the potent Mercedes-AMG A 35 hatch, as well as the reigning Wheels magazine Car of the Year, the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV.
By Steve Colquhoun