The Wizards of Oz

The rise of the Australian designers in London

‘There’s definitely an affinity between English and Australian designers,’ Kit Podgornik said backstage after her Willow show in the Covent Garden flower cellars. ‘We have a lot of admiration for each others’ aesthetic, we’re both ready to be a little bit interesting, a little bit quirky and to move beyond the cookie-cutter mould.’

She was speaking about her own return to London after several seasons in New York – a move which she described yesterday as ‘a release’.

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But she’s not the only Australian who’s chosen to showcase her label in London. Yesterday also saw the show of party-girl favourites Sass & Bide, which drew a starry front row thanks to its it-girl appeal. Sass & Bide have built a successful business in London despite a period of absenteeism between founding the label in 2005 and returning in 2009.

Today sees the shows of fellow Aussies Antipodium (based in Shoreditch) and Dion Lee. The toast of Oz and a rising star just 25 years old, Lee is making waves in the eveningwear market. He showed in London for the first time last season to gain more of an international foothold. Today will be his first fully-produced catwalk show – watch this space for a review later today.

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Meanwhile, ELLE had a sneak preview of Geoffrey J. Finch’s spring summer 2013 Antipodium collection at his Bethnal Green studio last week. Googly eyes, light-up earrings, gold foil and lashings of latex -- there’s a lot going on. But as we looked through the collection over a glass of wine, the cacophony of ideas came across as a very streamlined vision. One that ELLE wants to buy into.

The cool girls in London wear Antipodium. And they wear Willow, Dion Lee and Sass & Bide. They buy Rachael Ruddick accessories and the choose We Are Handsome for the beach.

Prepare yourselves: the Aussies are coming. In fact, they're already here.

See the full Willow Spring Summer 13 catwalk collection

View the Spring Summer 13 Sass & Bide show

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