Spotted: Rachael Finch, Megan Washington, Alyssa McClelland, Anna McGahan and April-Rose Pengilly sitting front row at Manning Cartell's Frida Kahlo-inspired spring/summer 12/13 collection, titled Absent Portrait, in the holy setting of Scotts Church Building in Sydney.
Show-stopper looks elicited special attention- hyper-real florals, oversized hound's-tooth and fluorescent accents all featured heavily- but overall, designer sisters Cheryl, Vanessa and Gabrielle Manning presented a considered collection of highly wearable separates. Bralets (and ensuing exposed midriffs) may be left to the brave, but the collarless blazers, printed pencil skirts, sheer bomber jackets and tri-colour tailored pants are sure to make a seamless transition into many a wardrobe.
InStyle caught up with the Manning sisters in the lead-up to their spring/summer 2012/13 show, and they offered these insights:
What is the creative and professional process of three sisters working on one design label?
"We get together frequently with ideas and spend time discussing our direction and collective vision for Manning Cartell. We then each utilise our natural strengths across all areas of the business. We are normally on the same wave length which is amazing!"
Since launching in 2006, how have you grown as a label?
"We have a rhythm now, a confidence in knowing our customer; our collections reflect that, in that they are more refined."
What's the inspiration behind this year's show and collection?
"Frida Kahlo is the inspiration behind the collection both as an artist and a style icon, for her audacious love of colour and fearless layering of prints and textures."
How do you survive the lead-up to Fashion Week?
"There is a certain type of energy and passion that comes through creating your own show, which enables you to push on even when things seem impossible. Music and a little caffeine give us that extra kick required!"
Rose Byrne among others has been spotted wearing your designs. What celebrities capture the heart of your brand?
"Our girl is modern, free and fearless, her version of glamour has an essence of grittiness to it. Melanie Laurent, Cara Delevingne, Kirsten Dunst and Leslie Feist [capture the essence of the brand]."
What's the best advice you'd give young designers starting out?
"The importance of planning, of making sure creative and operational sides of the business connect."
- Fashion by Brittany Henderson. Interview by Emma Ciufo