Lee Mathews’ Rebrand Resulted in an Underwhelming Collection for MBFWA 2018

Photo by Khiera Nicole

This year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Australian designer Lee Mathews wanted to bring sustainability to the forefront and prove that environmentally-aware fashion need not be, well, boring

Photo by Khiera Nicole

Photo by Khiera Nicole

“While sustainability is already intrinsic to the Lee Mathews DNA, this season will be our most sustainable collection to date,” says Mathews, noting that the label is conscious of carbon dioxide emissions, water and waste reduction in fabric manufacturing and dying and is focusing on natural, biodegradable textiles like silks, organic cotton and linens and aiming to bring more manufacturing back into Australia.

Photo by Khiera Nicole

“The swimwear is constructed from EcoNyl, a fabric made entirely from waste nylon and recovered fishing nets… it can be repeated infinitely, creating a closed-loop system for regenerated nylon.”

Photo by Khiera Nicole

Photo by Khiera Nicole

“We are not perfect,” she says, but it’s the steps towards more mindful consumption that should be lauded. “But we are refining our design and manufacturing practices to create our most beautiful, timeless and environmentally conscious collection to date.” 

Photo by Karina Illovska

Photo by Karina Illovska

With that being said, we didn’t love the collection. The patterns and prints mixed with the floppy hats reminded us of women out in the country on a farm. A strip of lawn was used as the runway, created in collaboration with florist Ben Fountain, but it did not help with our farm/country concept.

Photo by Karina Illovska

Photo by Karina Illovska

As the show went on, the designer redeemed herself with flowy, bohemian, and feminine dresses but overall, we were not inspired.

Photo by Karina Illovska

Photo by Karina Illovska

Photos captured by Khiera Nicole and Karina Illovska for The 5 to 9 Life