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Melbourne Fashion Week '22

Viceta Wang’s debut in Melbourne Fashion Week was a poetic tribute to fashion

As industry people and fashion lovers alike gathered at one of our city’s newest cultural landmarks, Wesley Place, to attend the opening event of Melbourne Fashion Week ’22, the electricity and excitement was palpable. But this opening event was even more significant for the Melbourne-based luxury brand, Viceta Wang, as the show marked its debut in one of the most influential Fashion events in Australia.

For six days, M/FW will celebrate a staggering number of 600 emerging and established designers, with over 50 fashion runways, panels and events to choose from. Despite Sydney Fashion Week’s International reputation, Melbourne is undoubtedly Australia’s cultural, and I dare to say, Fashion capital.

Viceta’s journey in fashion is inspiring. The designer behind the eponymous brand was born in China and moved to the UK to pursue her passion and kickstart a career in Fashion. With 15 years of industry experience in a variety of roles, Viceta relocated to Australia and launched her independent fashion label in 2017. Viceta Wang, the namesake brand, is based on her love for fashion as a tool to express women’s individuality.

Five years later, to be in the lineup of one of the most prestigious fashion events in Australia, is truly a milestone for Viceta Wang, and cements the brand’s status as a prominent label.

The setting for the Urban Garden Runway was enough to set the mood: the stunning historic location in the middle of Melbourne’s business district was transformed into an illustrious runway. The contrast between the gothic architecture and the CBD skyscrapers in the backdrop, juxtaposed history and modernity.

And if the pre-show atmosphere was ripe with anticipation, Viceta did not disappoint. The collection was indeed poetically beautiful. A triumph of audacious colour and form, flawless craftsmanship and bravura statements of beauty and uniqueness. The bright orange carpet coupled with the mesmerizing setting drew the focus to Viceta’s artistic designs and complemented the vivid colour palette.

The “Metamorphosis” collection pays homage to the butterfly cycle as an expression of the journey, we, as individuals, go through in our lives. Movement, changes, transformation, Viceta Wang’s Spring Summer 2023 collection took the audience on an exploration of the essence of life itself.

Drawing from the transitional stages of a butterfly, from the egg and caterpillar to the eclosion, models walked down the runway showcasing an assemblage of soft and powerful contrasts and beautifully executed silhouettes with mesmerizing details.

The collection was as varied as it was consistent. The colour palette was vivacious and vibrant, enlivened by bright pinks, and subdued by softer hues like white, pastel purples and light orange prints, sectioning the collection into its respective phases.

To my personal delight, exaggerated sleeves were abound, in a beautiful reference to a butterfly opening its wings. A statement bright pink long dress opened the show, in a fascinating entrance that instantly caught the eyes of the audience. It was later followed by a delicate pastel pink top. Both pieces when observed from the front, depict the anatomy of a butterfly. Viceta relied on the crisp taffeta fabric to play with forms, adding structured accents and voluminous shapes that teased the eye. An oversized bow was seen on the back of a soft pink flamingo tubular dress, that almost gave the illusion of wings when the model strutted down the runway.

Elaborated ruffles adorned the sleeves of a periwinkle mini dress. A hand-pleated sculptural but gracious form that alluded to the soft beating wings of the butterfly.

The same ruffled sleeves were spotted in a top that was paired with a dark purple triacetate asymmetrical skirt, in a sophisticated contrast of hues that was vivacious and echoed a duality of strength and softness.

A beautifully crafted white composition referenced the first stage of the butterfly cycle. Pearls were applied in a hand-embroidered long sleeve top in a reference to small butterfly eggs. The top was paired with a shiny triacetate skirt that featured long slits, adding even more movement and comfort to the soft silky fabric. An example of Viceta’s ability to mix traditional ideas with a contemporary and unique aesthetic. Structured accents were interspersed with fluidity. Lightweight long silk dresses floated down the catwalk in what reminded me of the gracious and breezy movement of butterflies, evoking a sense of freedom and romanticism.

These clothes were stimulating even without the backstory. There would be no escaping attention in them. Viceta stayed true to her bespoke tailoring and signature craft techniques to showcase a ready-to-wear collection that exuded couture energy engulfed in a poetic aura, with garments that transported the audience to a place of fantasy and modern poetry.

Metamorphosis was a beautiful exemplar of uniqueness and creativity, in a debut show that will certainly stand out in this fashion week edition.

I imagine Viceta Wang’s enthusiasts will find several favourites within the Spring Summer 2023 collection.

Words by Aleska Servian


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