Flora & fauna: Sara Phillips

As guests took their seats it was clear that the 8 foot botanical arrangement that filled the centre of Sara Phillips’ RAFW catwalk indicated one of two things: that the collection would rely on natural tones or that it would be as ostentatious as the ornamentation itself.

It was the former.

Set in-part to Treaty, perhaps one of the only Aboriginal songs to ever become a hit in the pop markets, Sara Phillips presented a spring 2011 collection of pieces largely defined by its digital prints. Digital prints are immensely popular amongst Australia’s fashion design talent for the coming season, but Phillips is one of the few designers to tie print with Australian flora and fauna.

The flora naturally tied in with the botanical arrangement-cum-Christmas tree that dominated the catwalk, while the country’s fauna was represented by way of snake skin prints. I have to confess that it was much easier to appreciate the flora motifs then those that mixed botanicals with serpents – but I’m the sort of person that likes a cohesiveness to their prints, others revel in the clash.

Despite the dominance it was in the form of a cutaway little black dress, its sheen gently reflecting the light, its fabric taught, that Sara Phillips is likely to find new devotees. Another little black dress, this time a sheer mini dress that used layers of gold and black to provide some modesty, certainly made a statement. The fact that those very same layers could do nothing to prevent the short, angled hem from revealing the perfectly formed derriere of its wearer, however, is likely to guarantee that it’s one little black dress that ends up worn as a top by most women who add it to their wardrobe.

To see all of Sara Phillips’ spring / summer 2011 / 2012 collection, as photographed by Kelly Defina for Fashionising.com, click on the thumbnails below and browse through the photo gallery.