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Kookai Autumn Winter 2016 Runway: A sophisticated, sexy and strong start to the season

On Wednesday 24th of February, the iconic Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building played host to the Autumn Winter 16 Collection Runway of Australian label Kookai. As I joined a cluster of giggling women by the media-wall pre-show, I was reminded of the quintessential Kookai woman – confident in her own skin with a strong sense of self – as I overheard one say, “Last year I asked Santa for the sexiest person ever for Christmas… and I woke up in a box.”

Audience and organizers alike, the air was filled with confidence, sass and style. While bombshell babes flitted around backstage, some draped in high chairs, dabbed with magic dust by Napoleon makeup artists; others sipped at champagne and practiced their signature smolder amidst clouds of hairspray. It was an honest struggle to tell the models and dressers apart, all of whom embodied the effortless sexy style so ingrained within the brand.

The palette was dewy and fresh with accents of gold on cheekbones, smoked chestnut and copper-accented eyes, and a subtle hint of creamed peach to sweeten the lips – the perfect mix of shades for all seasonal wear and a flattering look on all skin tones. Joe Cotroneo directed the evening’s hair for L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL, delivering two strong looks: a sleek pony and a middle part. Both were va-voomed with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Lift Mousse which is best added to damp hair from the roots to ends for dimension and control. Large curling tongs whisked up loose curls which were later relaxed with the brisk stroke of a paddle brush, and controlled with Tecni.Art Texture Dust and sealed with Air Fix Spray.

As a media excerpt streamed on the big screen, the crowd instantly hushed and a fast paced video offered a tease of the designs to come, featuring Kookai campaign face and Victoria’s Secret Angel, Sara Sampaio, and New Zealand model Georgia Fowler. Needless to say, excitement peaked and every single pair of eyes in the house was hunting for the garments first hand.

Packs of models streamed out sporting the Kookai basics and staples we all know, exuding a 70s flare with a modern twist. A monochromatic palette dominated whilst the ever popular winter tones of khaki, camel, steel blue and scarlet red made a welcomed appearance. Bell sleeves, flared lengths, above-the-knee skirts, thigh-high side splits, tailored bodices and hints of sheer details formed the appeal of the Kookai AW16 collection. Versatile and wearable pieces were strong – the two very traits which have carried the brand for over two decades – with fine touches of attitude and lashings of sophisticated chic. Creative Director and Co-Founder Danielle Vagner made an appearance center stage wearing the Streamer Skirt, and what a way to end the show; with a modern role model who embodies the brand’s ethos of strong, successful and feminine women.

-Elizabeth xx