One of our biggest stores says this is the top fashion trend of autumn


By Melissa Singer

Model Bille Jean Hamlet is one of the new faces of David Jones at VAMFF.Credit:Nic Walker

If you’re the kind of person who cares about being in fashion this winter, remember these words: red, pink, leather, chains. It’s much easier than trying to interpret “rebel love” all on your own.

And yet, that is the term department store David Jones is giving its top trend of the season, according to the head of womenswear buying, Teneille Oakley.

“It’s a soft, feminine trend – hardened up,” she says.

Think ’90s rock, fused with “soft” punk – a little blurred lipstick here, a mohair sweater there, and chains, lots of chains; not the full-blown expression of tartan that swept the recent runways in London, Milan and Paris (but be ready, that’s coming later this year, and into 2021).

The colour palette is simple, says Oakley. Reds and pinks (the hotter the better), worn back with black. But this is no simple case of colour blocking: reptile prints and leather provide texture, and a healthy dose of attitude.

Silhouette wise, the ’90s satin slip is a dominant piece, and no one does it better in Australia than Bec & Bridge and Shona Joy, according to Oakley. But shoppers who are sustainably minded may also seek out vintage slips, which can always be dyed to the colours of the season.

Leather is key to the trend but Oakley says there are plenty of brands playing in the vegan space, including Nanushka, the Bupdapest-based “it” brand that specialises in buttery skirts and coats that look and feel like the real thing. Other vegan leather specialists include the Danish cool-girl brand Ganni and local bag player Sans Beast, which literally means “without animals”.

Oakley says the new must-have piece in leather or vegan leather is a shirt, in black, brown or taupe. “It’s the newest, most interesting [piece]. Buy it oversize, wear it open as well. Work it back with a bright blazer for the office,” she says.

The rebel love trend is one of six key directions this winter for David Jones, which will unveil its collections on the runway at the Virgin Melbourne Australia Fashion Festival this Tuesday night. While in the past, the store has held lavish parties or runways for media and VIPs to see the collections, this year the company decided to forgo a party and redirected $100,000 towards fundraising for the bushfire recovery effort.

The David Jones show at VAMFF is on Tuesday, 7pm and repeated at 8.30pm. Visit

Melissa Singer is National Fashion Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.



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