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Formal wear


By October 1, 2013January 25th, 2018No Comments



Dear Friends,’ writes Leiela from her studio, covered from head to toe in the coloured threads of the latest spring collection emerging from her sewing machine…

You are invited to be marveled by the Spring Parade…an event like no other!’ She pauses at the end of this sentence, her mind lost in a tableaux of pastel hues and the most fragrant flowers, a still-life in which the creative energy behind the forces of dreams and realities are harmonised. She can picture it all, for it is already there in her mind – light, colour and movement – all nurturing the flow of an unstoppable artistic energy.

Those who attended the ART du JOUR by Leiela Spring Parade as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week will understand what I mean when I use the term ‘Runway Reinvention’. We all saw earlier on in the same day at The Live Gallery that spring is certainly the time to awaken the artist in each of us as an individual project of self discovery, but is it really possible to breathe new life into the formality of garment showcases that have evolved rather rigidly over the last decade to primarily cater for the elite?

“Of course it is,” says Leiela. “Fashion is not exclusive – it is ephemeral, it is ever changing, it is all inclusive, and Art my friends, well Art is the soul of the Universe!”

The Spring Parade was truly an event like no other. From the instant guests entered the glowing Treacy Centre and helped themselves to a welcome coloured kiss from My Macaron delicately presented upon a glistening Belle Gualtier Galleria crystal cake stand, there was a sense that this event was all about giving – giving back to the creative community, giving time and support, lending a hand to pull together something that has never been done before – with proceeds from the event supporting Kids Under Cover in their campaign against youth homelessness. A warm welcome and a charming tune or two from Stephanie H, Tristan Manas and Alwin Lysico from Project 628 commenced a parade of such spring splendour and variety that really did have to be seen to be believed.

The parade unfolded in a room adorned with spring blooms – set up as though to honour the most fragile, coloured gifts from Mother Nature. Breathtaking pale pink blossom arches crafted masterfully by Floriography perfectly framed the runway; providing a visual ‘entrance’ point for the runway collections, as though models, stepping through the doorway of some magical realm, brought with them to the runway all the secrets of floral delicacy. These arches were of course enhanced by two original paintings from visual artist Rachel McBride – which hung in their lightly speckled splendour on either side of the catwalk. With their delicate pink and soothing natural green hues, Rachel’s Monet-like masterpieces captured the true elegance femininity; an elegance that cannot be expressed in a single face or name, but rather, in the language of the tender brushstroke.

With more moves than Jagger himself, the adorable little ones from Ikonic Kids graced the first runway, meandering down what might have seemed like a very long catwalk in splashy colours, fresh spring shift dresses and handsome little shirts. Continuing this notion of carefree aesthetic freedom was the Resort runway – with models from Keat Management sauntering past admirers in delicately flowing dresses and skirts by Leiela, coordinated with striking hand painted silk scarves from Studio 941, and lush floral headpieces by Floriography. With male models looking fresh in check prints by Envoy London and styling by Styled by Ramzy, viewers were indeed transported to the land of el Tropicana – rather exciting us in its suggestion that vivid brights and large, sunny smiles are back in this season as the best accessories. Rejoice!

If that wasn’t a delicious opening to the show, the following two runways gave new meaning to the term ‘head turning’. The race wear and evening wear collections proved why Leiela is esteemed as a leading Melbourne label in the creation of stunning gowns. Featured in these collections were varied palettes of elegantly muted beiges and pinks, mint green and peach, with fine lace detail and sleek silhouettes as key focal points. “Leiela has revived the classic look,” commented one audience member when asked what their favourite aspect of the collection was. Coordinated perfectly with the award-winning creations by Andrea Agosta Designer Jewellery, romantically tousled up-do’s by Emmanuel Ammo Hairdressing and his team of hair stylists, and make up by Shula Keyte Make-Up Artistry and her team, models were the expressions of dynamic artistic collaborations – works of art in themselves.

Leiela’s final Bridal wear collection (which stole the show in my opinion) sent us all into a spin as the unmarried among us perhaps sat and pondered which gown we might fancy when the time comes – absolutely in awe of low ‘V’ back features, delicately beaded shrugs and flowing trains from lace and silk that seemed to move with the rhythm of the music.

The colour and ingenuity of the runway collections were given their finishing touches by shoes from Lana Volkov – handmade creations featuring coloured and textured leather, clip details and delicate embellishments all executed with the highest level of craftsmanship.

Some nights, some events, some moments in time just seem to glow in your mind for days to come, holding this special place somewhere between inspiration and sentimentality where you appreciate the beauty of the giving spirit. For, above all, the Spring Parade showed guests that while the external aesthetics of new fashions and innovative designs have the potential to transport us to ideal worlds within the imagination, there is nothing truly as beautiful as the supportive, loving smiles and helping hands of strength and admiration showed by all who collaborated with Leiela to bring this event together. Lucy Laurita, you are truly an inspiration to every person who has the pleasure of knowing you and working with you – constantly reminding us that the spirit of the true artist is one that is balanced and giving, with an inimitable grace and a passion for the realisation of the creative dream that simply cannot be curtailed.

As I left the Treacy Centre behind me and walked on into the depth of a balmy evening, the taste of sweet macaron on my lips, I overheard one guest reflect to their companion: “That is what it’s all about, isn’t it? That is all the mystery of Art has ever been about…it’s about people sticking together and inspiring each other to strive for all they can in this life.”

And I’d have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.

Until next time,

Alexia x

(pascal et al.)

ART du JOUR by Leiela is proud to support youth charitable organization Kids Under Cover

With special thanks to.

Shula Keyte Make Up Artistry; Shula Keyte assisted by Paola Margarita Senel, Maria Russo, Jennifer Major

Emmanuel Ammo Hairdressing; Emmanuel Ammo assisted by Karla Abdo, Andi A Hermez, Emre Chanela Bardan, Hiroko Ka


Hector Calara Photography and the Filipino camera Club of Melbourne; Reniel Torres, Thata Galeza, Angel Subala, Benedicto Rafael, Nestor Ventura, Ren Bayani, Britz Daz.

Cliq Photography, Vivek Photography, AW | Photography, Reza Seedin Photography, Brett Robson, La Rafael Photography, Ricefield Photography