Iconic Australian fashion label accused of rip-off designs
Iconic Australian brand Marcs came under fire last week from popular activewear label Nagnata. Nagnata designer and co-founder Laura Gibbs took to social media to share images of a lookalike ribbed, merino wool sweater by Marcs, arguably similar to the designs and fabric in which Nagnata is known.
Laura May Gibbs is the co-founder of sustainable yoga business Nagnata.
“A few people have sent me this from the floor of David Jones. I’ve stopped sharing these kinds of posts, but it’s close to home when an Australian brand … [SIC] @marcs_clothing” the post read alongside an image the garment in question.
The sweater from Marcs was shared on Gibbs’ instagramCredit:Instagram
“At least they’re using Merino wool,” the second post read.
This isn’t the first time the sustainably-minded fashion and lifestyle brand has called-out copycat brands on social media. In a post on Instagram in 2020, the brand shared pictures of a striped polo necked sweater, alongside a similar-looking design from activewear brand Jaggad’s collection. While Jaggad was not named in the post, the accompanying pictures show Jaggad models posing in the designs with a cutting caption. “If this Australian brand is going to keep copying Nagnata and ignoring our emails. Then we’re going to start calling them out,” the company wrote on Instagram.
Jaggad denied it had deliberately copied the designs and said it would not “engage in inappropriate social media slanging matches”.
Art lovers Archibald knees-up
Sydney’s art crowd flooded the Art Gallery of NSW on Friday night for the opening of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibition, with scantily-masked guests arriving punctually and quickly. While the canapés left much to be desired, the soirée spread over three levels, some mingling upstairs and trying to talk over the DJ, others crowding a busy bar down the escalators, while many put their champagne flutes aside to head straight to see the winning artworks and finalists. Early in the night, Today Show reporter and Sunday Life columnist Brooke Boney was seen catching up and posing for photos with members of the Sydney drill-rap group OneFour, who were captured by artist Daniel Boyd in a finalist painting called ‘Untitled (AAO)’.
The musos were so keen to attend that they apparently asked for 20 tickets and received 10 – still a good number for one of the most sought-after nights on the Sydney social calendar. Downstairs in the exhibition, Boney stood out in her red pantsuit and cheerfully posed for photographs with her portrait (with her pug) by Laura Jones called ‘Brooke and Jimmy’. Nearby, ABC journalist Laura Tingle, who attended with her sister Sally, did the same with her portrait by artist James Powditch. Kurdish refugee Mostafa Azimitabar had a receiving line of people wanting to shake his hand and have their photos taken with Azimitabar and the self-portrait which was painted with a toothbrush, a technique he began using at Manus Island as part of his 2,737 days of detention. One of his key advocates, former footballer and SBS commentator Craig Foster, stayed close. Also spotted: the subject of last year’s Archibald Prize winning painting by Peter Wegner, 101-year-old artist Guy Warren, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, and SMH art critic John McDonald.
Highs and lows of Aussie Fashion Week
And just like that Afterpay Australian Fashion Week has come to a close. This year marks Afterpay’s second year as the event’s principal sponsor, however, co-chief executive Nick Molnar was nowhere to be seen throughout the course of the week. Emerald City sat among the fashionable peacocks, witnessing hits and misses on and off the runway. Oversized tailoring, cut-outs and diversity were popular features of the events. AAFW broke new ground by providing gender-neutral toilet at Carriageworks, with a lavatory marked ‘All Gender Toilet – with open urinals’.
Marching to the beat of their own drum, and to the tune of Icehouse’s ‘Electric Blue’, saw a memorable collaboration unfold between Romance Was Born and artist Ken Done. Packed with references to iconic Australiana, the runway was a triumphant celebration of frills, sequins, ruffles, beading and embellishment that were wearable works of art.
Romance was born took inspiration from the works of iconic Australian artist Ken Done and presented the range in Done’s gallery at The Rocks.Credit:Brendon Thorne
Meanwhile, not many set the fashion bar so high as designer Michael Lo Sordo who showed his eopnymous label’s 23 Resort collection to a group of V-VIPs at Crown’s Villa 88. The show was the talk of the week and not just for the diamanté g-string detail on one silk gown. Moments before models were due to strut their way down the staircase turned runway, a vase (filled with orchids) smashed into smithereens inside the exclusive penthouse. Who knows how many dresses need to be sold to cover the cost of that damage?
Meanwhile, fresh from his 2022 International Woolmark Prize nomination, Jordan Dalah shocked the fashion set offering a rather unconventional seating option for his audience: a foldable camping chair.
Also of note were some unlikely fellas attending the coveted fashion event. Emerald City spied ex-bikie associate Mark Judge posing for photos alongside tracksuit mogul Pip Edwards. Former NRL star Beau Ryan was a walking advertisement for the newly launched label Shosai, donning a cream tracksuit designed by friend and fellow rugby star Quade Cooper.
It seems not all industry folk, however, were taken with this year’s event. “It’s [AAFW] lost its purpose, it used to be about showcasing upcoming fashion and seasonal trends. Instead, it’s turned into who can wear the most outlandish outfit and who can get the most likes on social media,” an industry figure told Emerald City.
Property princess lodges next big design statement
Billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist Judith Neilson is full steam ahead on expanding her property portfolio. The architecture and design lover has lodged plans for an $18.5-million warehouse conversion in Ultimo to create a contemporary private residence.
“This builds on the applicant Judith Neilson’s track record in delivering high-quality projects, that have received both local and international awards and recognition,” the DA lodged with the City of Sydney Council says.
The existing building occupies the entire 364sq m site at 66 Bay Street with parking space to be provided through the installation of a car lift. Neilson has a collection of inner-city properties, which have been praised for their cutting-edge designs and architecture.
Billionaire philanthropist and art collector Judith Neilson is preparing to make her next design statement with plans filed for an $18.5-million warehouse conversion.Credit:James Brickwood
The art and journalism patron parted ways with her Chippendale guest house last month for $2.6 million. Neilson ranked 71st on the Australian Financial Review’s 2021 Rich List with a wealth of $1.55 billion. Her non-profit White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney’s inner-city Chippendale houses one of the world’s most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art.
Neilson, a former graphic designer, is the ex-wife of billionaire investment manager Kerr Neilson—dubbed “Australia’s Warren Buffet”.
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