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Wayne Cooper Gets Ball Rolling at Fashion Week

By Ian Neubauer

Controversial Australian fashion icon Wayne Cooper injected much-needed energy into the economically challenged environment on the opening night of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) in Sydney last night (Apr 27).

Cooper – who was last year charged with assault and intimidation following an incident at his family home – presented his new spring/summer collection ‘Addicted to Love’ at a disco themed runway show held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

A conga line of models model Wayne Cooper’s
80s-inspired collection at the RAFW in Sydney

The collection was all glitz and glamour, with oversized belts, mod suits, sequins, mini-skirts, metallic jewellery and slicked back hair donned by giraffe-high models.

It was complemented by a high-tech audio-visual presentation that was all dazzling lights, high-voltage sound tracks and a centrepiece projector stating “A dress makes no sense unless it inspires a man two want to take if off you”.

Fairfax commented that Cooper – like all designers in times of uncertainty – was sticking to what he does best, while one industry insider was overheard saying most pieces in the collection could be bought for $10 at low-cost national fashion retailer Supre.

But the A-list crowd figuratively bought it hook, line and sinker, waiting patiently in line until 6:00pm for a show that had been scheduled to begin one hour beforehand. Many killed the time by sauntering off for a complementary drink or gourmet hot dog at the Rosemount Wine Bar, or by having their faces touched up at the MAC cosmetics stall.

“The shows are not run behind schedule to build momentum but because there are so many details to work out,” said Miro House manager Debbie Spellman, whose company has been contracted by the AFW orgnaiser, IMG, to arrange seating, front of house and volunteers for the event.

“It takes a lot of time to bring in the seated guests, first IMG’s people and VIPS, then ticket seats and finally people with general admission tickets. Also some of the models are working between different shows and they need time to re-do their make-up and get into their outfits.

“But there have been no hiccups,” she said.

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